Archive | February, 2009

Apocalypse Prevention, Inc. Demon Contest

Posted on February 28, 2009 by

Third Eye Games is throwing our first writing contest for new and interesting races to add to the world of Apocalypse Prevention, Inc. This contest comes on the heels of our recently released sourcebook, API Worldwide: Canada, and in preparation for the upcoming Demon Codex: Lochs race sourcebook.

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Flames

IVe Races: The Elkram RPG Review

Posted on February 27, 2009 by

Elkram is a tightly focused PDF supplement for 4E D&D. It offers a new race and all the requisite information needed as a player or DM to integrate this race into your game world. The creatures in question here are “Elk-Rams,” or bi-pedal elks with large sharp horns. The supplement offers a complete overview of this race, their place in the world, rules for players and feats as well as a paragon path.
Elkram is an interesting concept for a 4E supplement. The 4E platform is very modular, which is to say it is easy to design a single piece separate from the rest of the game and then drop that into an existing game world. There is no end to the possibilities of what could be designed in this fashion (e.g. single races, classes, paragon paths, epic destinies, small collections of magic items or rituals, etc). It is a shame that the first such supplement I have seen use this insightful creation method leaves a great deal to be desired in the area of design.

Review by Vincent Venturella

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Flames

The EVE Online Retail Box and You

Posted on February 26, 2009 by

If Science Fiction is Your Thing…

…then, come March 10, you will be a very happy camper indeed! That is the day that Atari and CCP Games will be releasing the ultra popular MMORPG EVE Online to the retail world. And why, do you ask, would this be any different than, say, subscribing online? Several very good reasons, one of which is financial and the other is simply geekish.

First, the financial aspect. EVE Online will be retailing for about $34.95, which is a good $15 cheaper than many new games that come out.

Written by Joe Rixman

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Flames

Under the Skin – A New Hunter: The Vigil Adventure from White Wolf!

Posted on February 25, 2009 by

Something is inside my skin. Shifting, itching and scrabbling for purchase. It takes me over, pushing me down to darkness. My voice is not my voice; my steps are not my steps. I see my friends… it sees my friends. I cannot scream. I cannot warn them. I am powerless and small in my own […]

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Billzilla

Wolfsbane and Mistletoe Fiction Review

Posted on February 25, 2009 by

Tracy Benton reviews Wolfsbane and Mistletoe

Because, after all, nothing goes with Christmas like werewolves, right?

As a follow-up to Many Bloody Returns (vampires and birthdays), editors Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner bring us Wolfsbane and Mistletoe (2008), an anthology of stories starring werewolves and set at Chrismastime. (To give them credit, the editors state in the introduction that they rejected the zombies-and-Arbor Day combination.) I was sufficiently intrigued by this concept to read the book, and I was also attracted by the array of authors, which, oddly enough, are mainly mystery writers.

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Billzilla

Cthulhu Goes to the Movies

Posted on February 24, 2009 by

Once in a while a movie comes along so epic, so terrifying, that its review requires two authors. Call of Cthulhu (2005) is just such a movie. Produced by the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society, this modern silent film treatment of the classic Lovecraft tale is remarkably effective: creepy but not gory, atmospheric but well-paced. The film is in black and white “Mythoscope,” meaning it’s artificially aged so as to seem vintage, and the soundtrack may be played in “Mythophone”, so that the music seems aged to match the film. Bill and Tracy offer their views below; Bill is a longtime Lovecraft aficionado, while Tracy prefers monsters of the Universal or Japanese vintage.

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Flames

Eden Studios Presents Volume 3 Review

Posted on February 23, 2009 by

The third installment of “Eden Studios Presents” (ESP) attempts to bring a little magic into readers’ lives. I was excited to review this anthology because it was first mentioned in 2004.

Each component of the seventy-four page PDF delivers something mystical that can be introduced into many of Eden’s various lines. Buffy and Witchcraft gain the most material, although the other titles aren’t ignored. Since this is an anthology, I’ll forsake my usual format and approach each segment of the book as a separate entity.

Carlos Samuel Araya’s cover art to “ESP3″ is a moody piece featuring a magical device called the Shadefont, which is later described in “Cover Shots” by Charlie Von Eschen.

Review by Todd Cash

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Flames

Ghostwriter Publications picks up Derek Gunn’s HMS Swift Chronicles

Posted on February 21, 2009 by

A new historical horror fiction book incorporating two stories from Irish writer Derek Gunn (Vampire Apocalypse series, The Estuary) titled The HMS Swift Chronicles, has been picked up by Ghostwriter Publications in the UK, for publication in 2009 in hardback, paperback and audio editions.

Set against the historical backdrop of the fragile peace that existed between the American Revolution, the looming French Revolution and the threat of Napoleon’s growing empire, the crew of the HMS Swift face the walking dead in “The Diabolical Plan”and vampires in “The Island”.

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Flames

Mutant City Blues RPG Available Now from Pelgrane Press

Posted on February 21, 2009 by

A stand-alone GUMSHOE game of contemporary super powers.

Ten years ago, 1% of the population gained mutant powers.

1% of the citizens means 1% of the criminals!

…and you’re the cops who clean up the mess.

EVER SINCE the Sudden Mutation Event, people have been able to fly. Phase through walls. Read minds. Shoot bolts of energy from their fingertips. Walk into dreams.

Police work will never be the same.

MUTANT CITY BLUES runs on GUMSHOE, the acclaimed investigative rules set powering the hit new game Trail Of Cthulhu. GUMSHOE offers a simple yet revolutionary method for writing, running and playing mystery scenarios. It ensures fast-flowing play, always giving you the informational puzzle pieces you need to propel your latest case toward its exciting final revelations.

Mutant City Blues is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

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TezMillerOz

Men of the Otherworld Fiction Review

Posted on February 20, 2009 by

Families in the American Pack have deadly agendas in Kelley Armstrong’s collection of werewolf tales, Men of the Otherworld.

Out of the two novellas and two short stories here, I’d already read three in previous incarnations, when they were available free on the author’s website. Now they can only be found in this anthology, with the proceeds going to World Literacy of Canada.

“Ascension” is a fine short, focusing on Jeremy Danvers’s birth. The racist, unlikable Malcolm Danvers manages to attract a quiet Japanese lass, but she has a definite plan to keep the resulting baby from his father.

Review by Tez Miller

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Flames

Horror Recognition Guide for Hunter: the Vigil Available Now

Posted on February 19, 2009 by

Strange Encounters

The Vigil brings no easy explanations — every night is a new mystery, a bizarre creature, an unknown terror. But hunters are humans, and humans must categorize — they take notes, keep journals, snap pictures and attempt to illustrate the horrors they meet on the hunt. By doing so, hunter cells try to find patterns, solve enigmas, and most important of all, keep hold of their sanity in these long, dark nights.

A Chronicle Book for Hunter: The Vigil

The Horror Recognition Guide is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

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Monica Valentinelli

The Trouble With Being God Review

Posted on February 19, 2009 by

The Trouble With Being God is the first book published by William F. Aicher, about a journalist named Steven Carvelle and the murders he is covering. Dubbed a “philosophical thriller,” The Trouble With Being God delves into heady themes while we watch Steven’s struggle with one question, “Did he do it? Did he really commit those murders?”

Part-horror, part-thriller, the book is written well and attempts to bring in philosophical questions from a non-believer’s perspective. Structurally, the chapters are fairly short and Aicher offers a suggested song playlist to play right along with every chapter.

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Flames

Midnight Harvest (Call of Cthulhu) Review

Posted on February 18, 2009 by

“Midnight Harvest” (OWC4003) is the second of three Call of Cthulhu adventures currently available from Super Genius Games. While “The Doom From Below” suggested ways to tie the other two adventures to it, this adventure does not. In this modern-day adventure designed for four to eight investigators, players are introduced to the town of Five Lanterns, Rhode Island (suggestions for running the adventure in either the 1890s or 1920s strengthen the book’s introduction) as it celebrates its annual Halloween bash. Of course, this is a CoC adventure so expect cultists, mad dreams, and more from the Things Man Is Not Meant To Know.

I like to start out with the book’s artwork and layout. The book’s cover art by Zak Plucinski depicts a group of trick-or-treaters going on their merry way while a dread skeletal figure looms just beyond their reach.

Review by Todd Cash

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Matt-M-McElroy

Cover Preview of the Buried Tales of Pinebox, TX Anthology

Posted on February 17, 2009 by

The Buried Tales anthology of horror and supernatural fiction transports you to the rural town of Pinebox, Texas, where secrets are buried but the dead don’t always stay that way. Join us for a dozen killer stories by David Wellington, Shane Hensley, Jess Hartley, J.D. Wiker, Monica Valentinelli, Charles Rice, and more.

Buried Tales of Pinebox, TX
Published by: 12 to Midnight
Edited by: Matt M McElroy
Retail Price: $11.99
Stock#: TWL6001

Buried Tales of Pinebox will arrive summer 2009! Stay tuned for more previews here at Flames Rising!

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API Worldwide: Canada – Available Now!

Posted on February 17, 2009 by

Face the Dangers that Lie Beneath

Regardless of what you may think… Canada is neither boring nor safe. There are untold dangers around every corner, and few of our kind to fight. We will strike back with determination and wit. We will be triumphant… because there is no other choice.

…And Stay Ready for Anything

API Worldwide: Canada is the first regional sourcebook for Apocalypse Prevention, Inc. It is a complete guide to playing in or running adventures set in the Canadian region. Details on the dreaded entity known as the Thing Under the Ice and the plans of the Circle of Ten’s Great Strategist, along with new races, magic, creatures, and equipment await within.

API Worldwide: Canada is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

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Monica Valentinelli

Keeper of Light and Dust Fiction Review

Posted on February 17, 2009 by

After reviewing Natasha Mostert’s book, Season of the Witch, I was curious to see how this up-and-coming author’s next book would fare. Keeper of Light and Dust is not a sequel to Season of the Witch, but was written as a stand-alone story about the duality of healing as it relates to chi. Mia Lockheart is a mystic protector, a healer who works as a tattoo artist in South London secretly guarding the lives of today’s warriors, a group of boxers. The villain of this tale is a modern day vampire, a man who learned how to steal chi, that mystical and ancient energy force that fuels our souls and provides us with life’s energy.

Well-researched, Keeper of Light and Dust is an excellent nod to the modern day sport of boxing mixed with the ancient form of martial arts. Not often do we find athletics at the center of a supernatural tale, and it’s refreshing to read a book where the sport is part of the plot.

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Flames

Witchblade Reaches Milestone 125th Issue!

Posted on February 16, 2009 by

Top Cow Productions, Inc. proudly announced today that the company’s flagship title, Witchblade, will reach issue #125 in March 2009, and the publisher will celebrate this landmark event with an oversized issue including a bonus story.

Witchblade #125 brings the series’ critically acclaimed team of writer Ron Marz and artist Stjepan Sejic together to begin the six-part story arc “War of the Witchblades” which the publishers note is the biggest and most ambitious plot they’ve attempted with their flagship character. Following the events of 2007’s First Born, the Witchblade was split into two halves and the responsibilities split between long time bearer Sara Pezzini and newcomer Danielle Baptiste. Up to this point, Sara and Dani have worked together and developed a sisterly relationship, but that will all change beginning in issue #125.

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Jason Thorson

Friday the 13th (2009) Movie Review

Posted on February 16, 2009 by

Friday the 13th opens with a flashback to Crystal Lake in 1980 as Alice beheads Pamela Voorhees with a machete. Then we’re introduced to a cadre of modern day horn dogs as they trek through the deep woods somewhere near the now abandoned Camp Crystal Lake. The coordinates of their marijuana crop have been programmed into their GPS unit, but they can’t seem to find anything. Sensing they’re close they decide to make camp and resume searching come morning. Hot casual sex ensues as well as some pot smoking followed by a cavalcade of brutal butchering courtesy of Jason Voorhees. And that’s just the prologue, ladies and gentlemen.

Review by Jason Thorson

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Flames

New World of Darkness Bundle at RPGNow!

Posted on February 15, 2009 by

Freeze! – World of Darkness bundle available for a limited time.

The discipline required to be a beat cop, or in the military trains you to be strong. It teaches you teamwork, how to rely on others and how to rely on yourself. Which is a damn good thing. You need every edge you can get. You’ll see for yourself when you discover what else is out there in the night…

This bundle includes Tales from the 13th Precinct, Dogs of War and World of Darkness: Armory. At regular price these books would be $81.97 – For this week only, download all three for the sale price of $35.99, a savings of 56%.

The Freeze! bundle is available for a limited time at RPGNow.com.

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Flames

Fantasy Flight Games 2009 Convention Schedule Announced

Posted on February 15, 2009 by

Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) today announced its scheduled convention appearances for 2009. From Con of the North in the spring to GenCon and Penny Arcade Expo in the summer to Essen Spiele in the fall, FFG will travel the world to show off their newest titles.

For more information, visit the Fantasy Flight Games website at www.fantasyflightgames.com.

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