Archive | January, 2009

Flames

Gen Con Chapter 11 Plan Approved!

Posted on January 14, 2009 by

Gen Con LLC announced today that the US Bankruptcy Court of Western Washington has confirmed the company’s plan of reorganization and approved the company’s rejection of a hostile takeover bid.

“This is bright day for us”, said Adrian Swartout, CEO of Gen Con. “The entire team is looking forward to 2009 and continuing our growth as a stronger, more focused company. Our emergence from Chapter 11 is a testament to the skill and perseverance of our employees and the strength of the phenomenal Gen Con brand. Everyone here is excited to begin working outside of Chapter 11.”

Since filing for bankruptcy protection in February of 2008, Gen Con has significantly reduced its expenses and increased its cash position.

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teampreston

Dragora’s Dungeon RPG Review

Posted on January 14, 2009 by

The first half of the adventure is a straight up series of linear deadly encounters. By linear I mean that while there are a few options given, there is really only one path to succeed. By deadly I do indeed mean DEADLY. A party of 1st Level Adventurers needs to be balanced and smart. They need to be absolutely cautious or face mortality. True Dungeoneers only please! All other should stay on the porch. No real RP at all in the first half. It’s a series of combat encounters and traps only.

The second half of the adventure introduces some roleplaying opportunities. Actually, it’s a big opportunity for characters with social skills to shine because failure at this stage could almost certainly result in TPK as well. Poor rolls and accidentally insulting a faction can result in a massive attack or ambush by vastly overwhelming forces.

Review by Jeff Preston

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Monica Valentinelli

Storm Front (Dresden Files) Audiobook Review

Posted on January 13, 2009 by

First published in April 2000, Storm Front is the first in Jim Butcher’s popular series – the Harry Dresden Files. This particular story introduces us to the wily wizard from Chicago by telling a story about a mysterious murder. Dresden’s investigation involves a dangerous mobster named Johnny Marcone, a deadly-yet-beautiful vampire named Bianca, and Chicago’s finest. Along the way, you find out more about this unlikely investigator and why he’s the guy with this shingle outside of his door:

Lost items found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses or Other Entertainment.

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Flames

One Bad Egg Releases Hard Boiled Cultures for Dungeons & Dragons 4E

Posted on January 12, 2009 by

Races in Dungeons & Dragons 4E are good for laying down the broad strokes of a character, but they often don’t feel as “lived in” as the ethnicities we encounter in everyday life. One potent reason for this is a general lack of cultural complexity and diversity. D&D races tend to be presented as monocultural societies—all elves are the same the world over, and so on.

Hard Boiled Cultures aims to make it easy to change that, outlining versatile, easy methods for diversifying the ideas of culture and race in your D&D 4E game. Better yet, the methods break down how to give this diversity real weight in the system, rather than simply relying on “color” text to do the job.

Hard Boiled Cultures is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

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alanajoli

Unshapely Things Fiction Review

Posted on January 12, 2009 by

The setting is an area of post-Convergance Boston known as the Weird. Having lived in Cambridge and worked in Boston, I was hoping for more sights and sounds that I would recognize, but other than the lack of complaint about traffic, the Boston that del Franco creates feels real. (The most difficult parts of the novel to believe were the sections where Connor Gray and his police detective companion Murdock were driving without any substantial effort through sections of Boston that I remember being constantly backed up.) It’s changed, mostly due to the growing population of Fae: fairies, druids, elves, and dwarves, who have bought high rises, businesses, and other city assets. (Maybe they’re one of the factors in the lack of obnoxious traffic!)

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Flames

Twilight Crusade: Gabriel Free Download!

Posted on January 10, 2009 by

DriveThruComics.com and Moonstone are offering Twilight Crusade: Gabriel as a free download!

Twilight Crusade is a battle of Heaven vs Hell right here on our Earth, where the READERS will decide who wins!

In the War between Heaven & Hell, one soldier has been on the front lines of the battleground since the very Beginning.

Twilight Crusade: Gabriel is free for a limited time at DriveThruComics.com.

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teampreston

Road of the Patriarch Review

Posted on January 10, 2009 by

The protagonists in this tale are the drow mercenary Jarlaxle and the assassin Artemis Enteri; characters whom were originally a part of the tales of the drow ranger Drizzt Do’Urden and Company. These characters were apparently popular enough to have a spinoff series starting with Servant of the Shard.

This spinoff series The Sellswords started with Jarlaxle and Enteri and their attempt to establish themselves in the surface world using The Crystal Shard: Crenshinibon, an intelligent artifact that plays upon it’s bearer’s own desires for power. I say “their” attempt but really it’s about Jarlaxle; Artemis Enteri is largely a pawn, caught in a delicate but deadly web of deception amongst the drow of Bregan D’aerthe.

Review by Jeff Preston

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Flames

EVE Online: Apocrypha set for March 10th Release

Posted on January 9, 2009 by

EVE Online: Apocrypha Uncovers a New Version of the Universe Itself

CCP’s massive free expansion slated for March Release

CCP, one of the world’s leading independent game developers, today announced the launch of the tenth free expansion for EVE Online, its popular science fiction massively multi-player online game (MMOG). EVE Online: Apocrypha is the most ambitious EVE expansion in the game’s over five year history and it coincides with the March 10th, 2009 release of EVE Online as a boxed product through a partnership with Atari.

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TezMillerOz

The Summoning Fiction Review

Posted on January 9, 2009 by

At fifteen, Chloe Saunders still hasn’t menstruated. But the day it hits coincides with the ghost of a custodian haunting Chloe at school, until she finally breaks down. Told she has schizophrenia, she’s sent to live in a group home for other teens dealing with mental illness. Or are they?

But Lyle House’s patients are here by no happy accident, judging by the supernatural happenings. As Chloe comes to terms with her necromancy, she learns her powers are much stronger than they should be. Ghosts have been more hindrance than help in the past, but there’s one particular ghost who could provide information the group needs. If only Chloe can figure out how to contact her…

Review by Tez Miller

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Flames

Maurice Broaddus “Religion and Horror”

Posted on January 8, 2009 by

A new horror design essay has arrived here at Flames Rising. Author Maurice Broaddus tells us a bit about the creative process that went into his recent project with Wrath James White.

Religion and Horror

Some people have asked about what the thought process behind bringing Orgy of Souls to light. So I thought I would explore that for a bit.

At the World Horror Convention 2007, Wrath James White and I were telling award-winning writer, Gary Braunbeck about our collaboration. If I could capture a facial expression of his reaction to just the IDEA of the two of us writing together, and use it as a blurb, I most certainly would have done so.

Wrath James White and I have very little in common beyond being bald, black horror writers. Our writing styles, our lifestyles, our politics, our worldviews, our spiritual perspectives – on paper, we shouldn’t even be friends.

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Flames

Death in Luxor (Age of Cthulhu) RPG Review

Posted on January 8, 2009 by

Goodman Games has a new Age of Cthulhu series, which starts with Death in Luxor. Set in 1924, this adventure centers around a group of investigators as they explore a murder/suicide and the events that could have provided the catalyst for the violence. This adventure comes in at exactly fifty pages (including cover art) and, due to its structure, is a hefty read.

The author, Harley Stroh, also directed the game’s art, which is one of its strongest features. The cover art provided by Eddie Sharam depicts the adventure’s more Sanity-blowing moments and is, quite simply, one of the better cover pieces I’ve seen in ages.

Review by Todd Cash

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Flames

New Games in the New Year at RPGNow

Posted on January 7, 2009 by

FORGET AULD LANG SYNE – ROLL THE DICE ON SOMETHING NEW! 2008 is out, 2009 is in, and more than ever, it’s is a time of change. That means it’s a great time to try a new game! We really like to encourage people to try new games at RPGNow.com, and we are willing to […]

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TezMillerOz

Undead on Arrival Fiction Review

Posted on January 7, 2009 by

There’s a war brewing between Shadow Wolves and Werewolves in L. A. Banks’ Undead on Arrival.

Genetics, the military and the paranormal all feature in this third instalment of the Crimson Moon series. Newcomers will easily get lost trying to figure out the differences between clans and packs, Shadow Wolves and Werewolves, and who’s related to whom. In addition, some characters have different names for their different forms (human and wolf), and others are simply referred to as “Hunter’s mother” or “Shogun’s mother”. And since relations are a big issue here, this is rather confusing.

Review by Tez Miller

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Matt-M-McElroy

Interview with Artist Jeff Preston

Posted on January 6, 2009 by

Jeff Preston has been working in the RPG industry as a freelance illustrator and concept artist for several years. His art has been featured in products released by Chaosium, Atlas Games, Catalyst Game Labs and many others.

Recently Jeff was one of the featured artists in the Halloween Horror series here at Flames Rising. Jeff has also been busy working on some of the Shroud products with the folks at One Bad Egg.

I recently had the chance to ask Jeff a few questions about his work…

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Flames

Apocalypse Prevention, Inc. RPG Review

Posted on January 6, 2009 by

I was excited to receive my review copy of this corebook. There are genres that I enjoy and there are genres that I love. Preventing Apocalypses falls into the latter category. In fact, I hoped it could provide the mechanics for a two-year old campaign I have been running.

The idea of agencies combating the supernatural, while not original, remains a wide open field. There are several facets of the genre that can be explored, be it comedy, splatterpunk, or Lovecraftian horror. The game’s subtitle–An Action, Horror RPG . . . with a twist of Humor–relates the focus of API. This is a lighter look at the supernatural, something along the lines of Hellboy.

Review by Todd Cash

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alanajoli

Any Given Doomsday Fiction Review

Posted on January 5, 2009 by

In my review of Key to Conflict, I expressed dismay at the use of forced sex by a ghost to move forward the plot. In Any Given Doomsday, the one feature that’s keeping me from recommending it is the repeated use of sex under duress (or sex under the influence) to propel the character forward. Elizabeth Phoenix, former cop and a psychometric, is dragged into a world of supernatural demons and the battle between good and evil kicking and screaming. Her foster mother gives her the “gift” of becoming a seer, one of the guides for demon killers who identifies threats to be eliminated, with her dying breath.

Review by Alana Abbott

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Flames

Previews of new Goodman Games RPGs!

Posted on January 4, 2009 by

Goodman Games has posted details on their February and March releases!

DCC #61: CITADEL OF THE CORRUPTOR (FEBRUARY)
GMG5060, 48 pages, $12.99
Level 7-9 adventure. In a world of arcane magic and divine might, some secrets are best left hidden. When the forces of the wicked Mountain King discover an eldritch weapon of unmatched power, the future of the Northlands hangs in the balance. Following in the wake of bloody, madness-induced slaughter, can the heroes prevail where an army has perished? Blood and madness are in store, for where Lord Ablair the Corruptor passes, death must surely follow. Only the most cunning and courageous of heroes can triumph against the Citadel of the Corruptor!
More info at http://www.goodman-games.com/5060preview.html

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Flames

Arcanum Imperii: A Script for Cthulhu Live 3rd Edition

Posted on January 3, 2009 by

Arcanum Imperii is a Cthulhu Live 3rd Edition script set in ancient Rome designed for a dozen or more players that includes introduction, timeline, prop, and costume information and character stats and bios for more than 30 characters. This download comes with three different variants of the game script — color, black-and-white, and background-free — and each of these comes in low-resolution screen-friendly and high-resolution printer-friendly versions.

Arcanum Imperii is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

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Flames

Zombacalypse from Silver Gryphon Games

Posted on January 3, 2009 by

It’s already too late to run…

The Zombie Apocalypse is upon us!

The End is HERE!

In this book, you’ll find ways to introduce zombies into any game, set any time and anywhere. A multitude of zombification theories are presented for use or inspiration, as well as campaign ideas to fight against them. The core of the book centers around creating the undead machines, and using 13 separate qualities, each with 4 separate levels of ability, any kind of zombie can be created. Any type of zombie can be emulated from any source, or you could create your own. Eleven types of sample zombies are given in the book, from the easy to put down, easy to run from Slow Zombies, to the deadly assassins known only as Shadow Stalkers.

Zombacalypse is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Happy New Year!

Posted on January 2, 2009 by

Happy New Year to the Horror and Dark Fantasy fans of Flames Rising! We had a great 2008 that included: Winning a Silver ENnie at GenCon. October’s monstrous Halloween Horror series. A collection of fantastic Design Essays from several creators. The launch of the Reviewer Rewards Program. Tons of Reviews, Interviews and a whole lot […]

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