Archive | March, 2009

Burning Wheel Revised Edition Review

Posted on March 16, 2009 by

Burning Wheel Fantasy Roleplaying System (BW) isn’t like other RPGs. Yes, that first sentence is maddening; “What is BW like, then?!” you shout, frustrated. Let me sum up…

First off, Burning Wheel is a story-driven game. Kept simple, the rules are astonishingly playable, with sample-of-play threads written throughout the main book and the supplements that remind the GM and the players that they are sharing a story that they tell together. The entire point is to be fun; well, isn’t that the point of hobbies?

Review by Aly Condon

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Monica Valentinelli

A Look at the Origin of Horror Tropes

Posted on March 14, 2009 by

As a horror and dark fantasy writer and fan of the genre for years, I’ve noticed certain horror tropes that are used time and time again. For example, in supernatural horror you will almost always see the pentagram used as a satanic symbol and the story will typically revolve around the Catholic religion. In slasher flicks, typically there’s always one modelesque female who ends up getting slaughtered viciously in a gory bloodfest. Vampire stories range from the horrific to the romantic, but almost always center around a Master Vampire who is deathly allergic to sunlight. I’m sure you can name several horror tropes that you recognize, but do you know where these tropes began?

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Matt-M-McElroy

Player’s Handbook 2: A Look at the Shaman

Posted on March 13, 2009 by

From the bright towns and darkened wilderness they come: mighty heroes intent on exploring dungeons, slaying monsters and battling evil.

The Player’s Handbook 2 offers Dungeons & Dragons players new options with new Races, Classes and more. This book introduces the primal power source, which draws on the spirits that preserve and sustain the world. Wizards of the Coast has offered up a handful of previews and excerpts on the Dungeons & Dragons website and a few lucky gamers out there have already received their pre-ordered copies of the book (some have even posted spoiler threads if you have the energy to dig through them).

Flames Rising was lucky enough to get an advance copy of the book for review and we are teaming up with a handful of other websites to explore some of the new options being made available to players of Dungeons & Dragons. Specifically we are going to be taking a look at the Shaman Class today. After our Look at the Shaman you will find a series of links to other sites examining other sections of the book.

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Billzilla

Little Nightmares – Mississinewa Minatures

Posted on March 12, 2009 by

Mississinewa Miniatures is a little-known miniatures company from Indiana. Specializing in Zombie-themed figures, they have an impressive selection, if not a broad range – yet. Mississinewa sent Flames Rising a generous selection of figures to review. Sadly, I can’t do justice to them all so I’m going to concentrate on what they do best: Zombies!

The zombie line is reasonably well- fleshed out; 18 different models shamble their way to your gaming table, and while the variety isn’t truly spectacular, it’s solid. The first six are all naked zombies. Before you get too excited, let me first point out that there are no naughty bits in evidence; they’re more like zombie mannequins than anything else.

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Jason Thorson

Watchmen Movie Review

Posted on March 11, 2009 by

In 1986-87 Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons created a twelve part comic book series called Watchmen that was released by DC Comics. The series garnered immediate critical praise and sales success. These twelve issues were quickly reprinted together and released as the first graphic novel. Much like the super heroes by which it was inspired, Watchmen slammed through the boundaries of what comic books were thought to be, redefining the form and permanently changing the ambitions of the comic book industry.

After years of starts and stops Watchmen has finally found its way to the big screen. Directed by Zack Snyder (300, Dawn of the Dead remake) and starring Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Jackie Earle Haley, and Patrick Wilson, the film version adheres to the book much more closely than I thought possible. And as crazy as this may sound, I’m not convinced that’s an entirely good thing.

Review by Jason Thorson

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Flames

Monte Cook’s Dungeon-A-Day goes live!

Posted on March 10, 2009 by

Dungeonaday.com, Monte’s new subscription-based adventure site, goes live today, offering game material and DMing advice to its members. Dungeonaday.com, in fact, builds an entire ongoing campaign with a new material updated every weekday.

Monte expressed excitement for the new format in which he could create and deliver game material. “It’s been very fun coming up with this concept and seeing where it can go, but the key component will be the feedback from members, so it still could go in all-new directions,” Monte said.

Dungeonaday.com will be updated every weekday with a major encounter, plus frequent blog and podcast updates, monthly bonus encounters, and more. Members will find an active forum where they can ask questions, give feedback to Monte, exchange tips and ideas with each other, and help build Dungeonaday.com into a community of dungeon (and dragon) enthusiasts.

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Flames

API Worldwide: Canada RPG Review

Posted on March 9, 2009 by

API Worldwide Canada is Third Eye Games second release, a supplement to the Apocalypse Prevention, Inc corebook. In this 82 page book (three pages of ads), the authors lay out the specifics of the Canadian branch, specific threats to its agents (both environmental and supernatural), and some of the tools and spells fitting to this setting. The book concludes with a duo of adventures for players eager to jump right into the game. The artwork in this supplement consisted of fifteen pieces of art, two of which were maps. The art within the book ranged a bit in style; nevertheless, I found that all the pieces fit the story behind this book.

Review by Todd Cash

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Flames

New Vampire: the Requiem eBooks from White Wolf Available Now!

Posted on March 8, 2009 by

Night Horrors: Immortal Sinners

Sins of the Ages

So many people wish for fame and renown during their lives — or even for just a little bit of notoriety. But among our Kindred, that’s very nearly a fate worse than death. Don’t take my word for it, though. Go and ask some questions. Find out about who they talk to in the Necropoli of the Nosferatu, and in the perfumed salons of Elysium. Listen to what they say about them, and listen even more carefully to what they don’t say. Then maybe you’ll understand that the worst thing you can do is to stand out in a society of blood-starved murderers, my boy.

Night Horrors: Immortal Sinners is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

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Monica Valentinelli

Death’s Daughter Fiction Review

Posted on March 6, 2009 by

Calliope Reaper-Jones is a fashionista living in New York who has all but forgotten about her family. Purposefully. She’s distanced herself from her strange family — who just happens to run Death, Incorporated. When her memory charm breaks, her heritage comes rushing back to her and she learns her father and the Board of Directors has been kidnapped. Grudgingly, she agrees to take on the job of Death but quickly finds out she has to complete three tasks first to prove her worth.

Even though Death’s Daughter fits squarely in the genre of urban fantasy, I felt that the book had a lot of elements of dark comedy to it.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Watchmen Cover Art Display at Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art

Posted on March 5, 2009 by

Wizard Entertainment Chairman Gareb Shamus has loaned from his personal art collection all 12 original Watchmen covers by artist Dave Gibbons. The covers will be put on display as part of the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art’s special exhibit called “The Art of Watchmen.” The exhibit coincides with this Friday’s much-anticipated opening of the Watchmen film, which promises to be one of the biggest movie events of 2009.

“These covers haven’t seen the light of day together in more than 15 years,” said Shamus. “It’s a huge honor to be able to share them all at once with an audience discovering this groundbreaking story for the first time. Everybody in the world is finally learning about Watchmen, and this is a great place to see the exciting roots of this phenomenon.”

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Flames

Gabriel Nassif Wins at MtG Pro Tour Kyoto

Posted on March 4, 2009 by

Magic: The Gathering Tournament Champion is First to Capture the Title in 2009

The Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour season kicked-off this weekend in Kyoto, Japan. Gabriel Nassif from Paris, France was the first to be crowed Pro Tour champion in 2009 and took home $40,000. Luis Scott Vargas from Davis, California, Akimasa Yamamoto from Iwade-shi, Japan and Brian Robinson from North Quincy, Massachusetts filled out the top four. Nassif’s win in Kyoto marks his first Pro Tour victory although he’s had several top-8 finishes and was the 2004 Player of the Year. Since 1996, Wizards of the Coast has given away more than US$32 million in prize money, which includes both cash prizes and scholarship awards.

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Flames

Bone Chiller now at DriveThruComics!

Posted on March 3, 2009 by

Enter a world where the worst kind of monster imaginable is … US!

This hair-raising trade paperback is a “best of” compilation from the acclaimed COLD BLOODED CHILLERS series featuring 8 great scares and 2 chilling extras.

Dave Baxter at BrokenFrontier raves: “Cold Blooded Chillers is perhaps the very best of the independently published anthologies that I’ve read.”

Project FanBoy says: “There’s an edge of Twilight Zone with a twist of Alfred Hitchcock … and the art is stunningly beautiful, reminiscent of the horror art of the past.”

Bone Chiller is now available at DriveThruComics.com.

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The Rising Fiction Review

Posted on March 3, 2009 by

So to be perfectly honest, I’ve been going back and forth on whether on not I actually wanted to write this review. It basically came down to ‘not burning bridges’ in a very small universe, or being honest with my readers. (I know, all three of you.)

When I weighted it out, I decided a bad review treated fairly and note based on gut reaction might be better for the internet as a whole then a blank space. Plus, that way, as new readers show up, (I’ll welcome you, reader number four,) they can feel secure that I’m reviewing for honesty and not just for links.

Review by Filamena Young

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Flames

Annual GM’s Day Sale at RPGNow!

Posted on March 2, 2009 by

AND THERE CAME A DAY WHEN THE GAME MASTER WAS RAISED ON HIGH…

… And we who roll the dice, move the miniatures, and live the stories did celebrate our provider of fun. We sought out great treasures to grant unto him, and thus endow him with even more wonders to further entertain and enchant us.

It’s the biggest sale of the year for us, and a great time for you to check out whatever might be in your GM’s Wish List and get it for her. Dozens of publishers! Hundreds of products! All at 25% off or MORE!

Visit the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop to check out all of the GM’s Day Sale items.

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Flames

Moonstone Books to publish The Green Hornet and Kato Anthology

Posted on March 2, 2009 by

Moonstone has announced plans to publish several original short story collections featuring radio, film, comic book and television heroes The Green Hornet and Kato. The debut entry is expected to hit the streets by late 2009.

Bold newspaper publisher Britt Reid (the Green Hornet’s alter ego) along with his faithful valet and ally Kato have thrilled audiences with their daring adventures as they “hunt the biggest of all game, public enemies who try to destroy our America” ever since springing from the imaginations of George W. Trendle and Fran Striker in 1936. Fans have longed for the green-masked crime fighter to once again match wits with and bring down the criminal underworld.

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Jason Thorson

Diary of the Dead Movie Review

Posted on March 2, 2009 by

George Romero’s Diary of the Dead (2007) is a lot like Jell-o to my cinematic palette; that’s to say there’s always room for more zombie flicks from the man who invented them.

Diary tells the tale of a group of film students and their professor from the University of Pittsburg as they shoot a “mummy” movie in rural Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, a zombie plague breaks out, quickly spreading around the world. The cadre of survivors packs up their film equipment and hits the road in search of sanctuary from the pending apocalypse. They soon turn their equipment toward the unfolding catastrophe, documenting it on the fly and posting it online.

Review by Jason Thorson

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11 Tales of Ghostly Horror

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