Archive | November, 2008

Matt-M-McElroy

The Knight Strikes in Winter

Posted on November 18, 2008 by

Fans of E. E. Knight, author of the Vampire Earth and Age of Fire series, have some new books to look forward to.

First up is book four of the Age of Fire:

Three dragon siblings are among the last of a dying breed, and the final hope for their species’ survival. AuRon, Wistala, and Copper find themselves at odds over the coming human war. AuRon thinks dragons should have no part in the affairs of humans. Wistala believes dragons and man can peacefully co-exist. And Copper has designs of his own on the world.

And the civilized humans who have turned to Copper for assistance against their savage enemies have just given him the perfect opportunity to fulfill his plans…

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Flames

Play Dirty RPG Review

Posted on November 18, 2008 by

Nearly all RPGs have a section devoted to the theory of how RPGs should be played. In fact, this is the part of a corebook I find myself rereading for inspiration. The skill of these chapters range from the banal to sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll goodness. If you want how-to theory that feels like Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club, then John Wick’s Play Dirty is the book for you. Making connections between the two proves simple. Heck, both books have a series of rules to follow. While we won’t talk about the rules of Fight Club, I will share Wick’s two rules:

Rule One: There are no rules.
Rule Two: Cheat anyway.

Review by Todd Cash

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Matt-M-McElroy

Cthulhu Rises…and rolls some dice.

Posted on November 17, 2008 by

It is a good time to be a Cthulhu Gamer. Lots of very cool new stuff has hit the shelves in the last couple of weeks. I did a review of the new Cthulhu Rising board game from Twilight Creations last week.

The fun does not stop there, the Great Old One has been spotted all over the gaming world recently…

Everyone knows I’m a big fan of Skirmisher Publishing’s Cthulhu Live series and we have a handful of reviews on the site including The Old Man of Damascus and the 3rd Edition Core Book.

Well they just came out with a new script called Sight Unseen, which looks very, very cool.

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Flames

The Lies of Locke Lamora Review

Posted on November 17, 2008 by

The one word that comes to mind when I talk about this novel is Revenge. It was with a capital R since it was such a strong part of this read. Almost every plot line could be brought back to this one basic principal. You mess with me or mine and you will pay. It may be tomorrow or even 20 years from now…but it will happen.

Locke is a fun character. I have to admit I love the smart ass characters that even in the face of danger, are still talking a serious amount of trash. It isn’t the smartest plan to say the least, but I do understand it being a smartass myself. But beyond that he is really a well written character. He is in charge of a group of thieves that he has known since he was a child called the Gentlemen Bastards.

Review by Stacey Chancellor

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Matt-M-McElroy

Justin Achilli’s Demimonde Now Available!

Posted on November 16, 2008 by

Game Designer and author, Justin Achilli, (Vampire, Changeling, Scion) has a new novel available now at DriveThruFantasy.com. Sex, drugs, and theological schisms…. Demimonde is the story of Brandon Arthur, a freelance industrial designer whose introduction to a glitzy, invisible subculture precedes a holy war that tears this secret society asunder. As the conflict worsens, Brandon […]

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Flames

Holiday Sale at Noble Knight Games

Posted on November 14, 2008 by

Noble Knight Games is pleased to announce its massive year end holiday sale!! If you haven’t browsed in awhile be sure to spend some time with our catalog, never in our history has our stock been better or our selection wider, and your sure to find some gems. Check out the specials and sales section […]

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Flames

Crimson Orgy Fiction Review

Posted on November 14, 2008 by

Crimson Orgy – Best New Thriller of ’08?” read the headline on Amazon.com’s forums. User C. Avery said, “For my money, this is the best new thriller of 2008 (so far, anyway),” and I, after reading Austin Williams’s debut novel, Crimson Orgy, immediately thought, “publisher plant?”

Dubbed as a thriller, and quite often described as a horror novel, Crimson Orgy follows the filming of a fictional exploitation film of the same name during the 1960s. The intro to the book sets the story up as potentially true (although we know it’s a work of fiction), explaining that the final print never saw the light of day.

Review by William F. Aicher

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Flames

New World of Darkness Pre-Orders!

Posted on November 13, 2008 by

White Wolf Publishing has all kinds of new books in the horizon, be sure to pre-order your copies today!

World of Darkness: Slasher

Blood Splatter

There’s a different breed of killer out there. They aren’t driven by the need to drink blood or the pulse of the full moon. They kill because they have to, because murder is the only thing they know. Will you hunt the slashers — or join their ranks?

A Chronicle Book for World of Darkness and Hunter: The Vigil

Pre-Order World of Darkness: Slasher today at Amazon.com.

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Flames

A New Script for Cthulhu Live!

Posted on November 13, 2008 by

Can we trust our senses? How do we know that what we see is real? Are our eyes inherently deceptive and prone to misdirection? If so, then such flawed organs must be removed, for only in blindness can one perceive the truth: that all the world is horror.

Sight Unseen is a LARP experience like no other. When an assortment of Arkham citizens check into the local hospital for surgery, they find themselves blinded by a madman and forced to confront the unearthly terror he has unleashed upon the world. Sight Unseen is a game script for Cthulhu Live 3rd Edition and requires the Cthulhu Live 3rd Edition game rules.

Sight Unseen is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop for only $4.99.

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Flames

Joe Rixman “Ancient Vampire Tales”

Posted on November 12, 2008 by

The Horror Design Essay Project continues today with a little something from freelance writer Joe Rixman. Joe recently took part in our Halloween Horror series with the Tear-Drop Rattler.

Today he is going to tell us a bit about the work he did on a couple of books for White Wolf’s Vampire: the Requiem RPG.

Ancient Vampire Tales

I was lucky enough to be friends with a writer at White Wolf who thought my writing was good enough to open a couple doors. Thankfully, Matt McFarland signed me on for two books that he was developing freelance for Vampire, Ancient Mysteries and its sister book, Ancient Bloodlines. I have to tell you that I am probably the luckiest guy in the world to have gotten this opportunity and grateful to both the developers and the other writers I had the chance to work with on them. As to the actual books…

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Flames

Steampunk Musha RPG Review

Posted on November 12, 2008 by

The good folks at Precis Intermedia have kept their quality streak alive with the release of Steampunk Musha, a “Victoriental Adventures” setting for Iron Gauntlets. It’s nice to see such an excellent gaming system as IG getting plenty of love and support; despite its relatively small size, PIG is providing as much and more support material for Iron Gauntlets than some companies 3-4 times its size are doing for their lines. Steampunk Musha is a good indicator of the high quality of these releases.

My review copy was a pdf, some 122 pages in length. SM (as we will periodically refer to Steampunk Musha) was created by Rick Hershey, with Brett Bernstein and Alana Abbott, and the overall design of the book is one of clarity and ease of reading.

Review by Zachary Houghton

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Flames

The Doom from Below for Call of Cthulhu

Posted on November 11, 2008 by

That Which Lies… Deep in the New England woods lies a perfectly circular chasm plunging hundreds of feet into the earth. Is it a marvel of nature or the remnant of some ancient maleficence? As the investigators explore the depths of this haunted pit they face geologic dangers, bizarre subterranean creatures, and a message from […]

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Cry Wolf Fiction Review

Posted on November 11, 2008 by

Patricia Briggs takes a break from the Mercy Thompson series and gives readers a more detailed look at the Marrok’s world in Cry Wolf: An Alpha and Omega Novel. In this novel, the lead female is Anna Latham, a former Chicagoan who, with the help of the Marrok’s pack, is able to escape an abusive upbringing and to redefine her life. The cover art by Daniel Dos Santos is a solid depiction of the character Briggs brings to life throughout the course of the novel.

I picked up this novel because of the Mercy Thompson series. I am not a huge fan of werewolf fiction; however, the urban fantasy environment Briggs created in the before mentioned Thompson series continues to develop interestingly as new facets of the reality are revealed. That said, I am a fan of this novel. The chief reason for my conversion rests in Brigg’s ability to write convincing characters.

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Flames

Topps Company shuts down WizKids

Posted on November 10, 2008 by

Announced at the Wizkids website today:

The Topps Company announced today that WizKids will immediately cease operations and discontinue its product lines.

Scott Silverstein, CEO of Topps, said “This was an extremely difficult decision. While the company will still actively pursue gaming initiatives, we feel it is necessary to align our efforts more closely with Topps current sports and entertainment offerings which are being developed within our New York office.”

Upon notifying our partners, Topps will immediately pursue strategic alternatives so that viable brands and properties, including HeroClix, can continue without noticeable disruption. To that end, WizKids will continue supporting Buy it By the Brick redemptions for Arkham Asylum, and the December Organized Play events for HeroClix.

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Flames

Fiction at Flames Rising

Posted on November 10, 2008 by

Flames Rising is happy to host a collection of Horror & Dark Fantasy fiction from large publishers and small press, new authors and experienced freelancers and everything in between. We have agreements with a handful of publishers to host fiction based on the worlds they have created ranging from Contested Ground Studiosa|state to Apophis Consortium‘s Obsidian: the Age of Judgement and a host of other settings. We also have sneak previews and excerpts of upcoming Horror & Dark Fantasy novels from time to time.

The fiction collection on Flames Rising will be listed by setting or series. Just click the “Read more…” link below for a complete list of the good reads we have to offer…

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Fiction Comments Off on Fiction at Flames Rising
Matt-M-McElroy

Torches and Pitchforks Card Game Review

Posted on November 10, 2008 by

The Card Game of Monster Movie Mayhem!

This is a funny card game from Green Ronin with spoofs on various horror classics ranging from Frankenstein to Dracula with ghosts, beasts and other monsters mixed in to keep things interesting. The local townsfolk team up to destroy these monsters and deal with mayhem along the way.

There are three decks in this game, Townsfolk (representing the local “citizens” that are battling the monsters), Mob (including weapons, actions and other enhancements) and Monster (which also includes events that are often detrimental to the heroes).

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Flames

New Chapters Available Now at Monica Valentinelli’s Violet War Website!

Posted on November 9, 2008 by

The ongoing urban fantasy novel series, Violet War, by Monica Valentinelli has new chapters to explore!

Monica gives her readers a little teaser on the new material:

One of the key concepts in this chapter, is that we read about the concept of “The Condemned.” In the magic world, there is a series of Oaths that bind and tie each and every entity within the magical community together. These Oaths are a complex network of promises and “social contracts,” replacing the need for written laws. Oaths are binding and brutal, for many concepts like “free will” go right out the window once an Oathbringer brands the oath into their mind–literally. The strength of the Oath depends upon a lot of factors including the magical prowess of the Oathbringer, the resiliency of the person’s mind, how many people are branded, etc.

Visit www.violetwar.com for the latest updates.

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Flames

Humans!!! a new horror board game from Twilight Creations

Posted on November 8, 2008 by

You USED to be a police officer, fireman, nurse, etc., but NOW you are a zombie and these pesky humans keep trying to kill you. But why? All you want is some nice, delicious brains. They have plenty. Perhaps if you infected more humans, it wouldn’t be such a problem…

In Humans!!! you choose to be a Zombie. You have some abilities due to your new found state of being. Other abilities are determined based on your pre-zombie occupation.

This game can be played by itself or combined with the Zombies!!! game.

Humans!!! is now available at Amazon.com.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Worlds of Their Own Fiction Review

Posted on November 7, 2008 by

Fans of “shared world” fiction will find many of their favorite authors in this collection, however they won’t find any characters from Forgotten Realms or Warhammer here. This collection is all “creator owned” and explores new worlds by these authors. Some of them have been expanded into other works such as RPGs (Demon Wars and Reign for example). These stories have appeared before in various magazines or anthologies over the years, but it is pretty cool to have them all collected together in one volume.

I read Jeremy Jones’ interview with James Lowder back in June and was immediately hooked on the concept of the book.

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Flames

Paul Alabaster “Chasing His Nightmares”

Posted on November 6, 2008 by

Our ongoing Horror Design Essay Project has a new contribution today. Horror author Paul Alabaster offers a peak into his creative writing process and gives us a look at what he has in store for the future…

Chasing His Nightmares

My love of stories came from my mother – Jacqueline. I always remember whilst tucked up in bed, my mother reading me bedtime stories of Winnie the Pooh. I would listen with eager delight to what misadventures Pooh Bear had gotten himself (and his ever-forgiving friends) in to. Another beloved treasure I adored my mother reading to me was C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe.

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11 Tales of Ghostly Horror

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