Archive | June, 2010

Matt-M-McElroy

Back from Atlanta and trying something new.

Posted on June 16, 2010 by

I have been posting short updates and industry news that I’ve come across over on my LiveJournal for the past few months. Someone suggested that Flames Rising readers might like to hear some of the rattling that goes on in my head so…we’re going to give it shot. These posts will indeed be a bit of a random mix of links and commentary and most likely won’t follow any kind of set pattern. Feedback and comments are welcome.

Last week I was in Atlanta on business for the “day job” (aka DriveThruRPG.com). I’m still trying to catch up on my e-mail, so if I owe you something give me a few extra days. That or it got lost in the shuffle so feel free to ping me with a reminder…

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Megan

Judge Dredd RPG Review

Posted on June 16, 2010 by

Most people who are likely to pick up this book will already know who Judge Dredd is (from his origins in the 2000AD comic or the movie), but unlike many games based on books, TV shows or films, there is ample information for those who do not know the original inspiration to get a feeling for what is going on, for the Judge and his world. The Introduction encapsulates the situation. In a radiation-ravaged world vast sprawling cities hold most of the surviving population in relative safety, but law and order is a massive problem that conventional systems of police and law courts could not maintain, hence the Judges – who act as police and court and often sentencing agent as well – developed to keep some semblance of order.

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Hard Helix RPG Review

Posted on June 14, 2010 by

Hard Helix is a series of scenarios for Mutant City Blues, written by Robin Laws. The whole thing clocks in at 78 pages, including intro text and all that. This is to say, the scenarios are compact. I’ll lay it out on the table; this is a good thing. If you’ve read my review of Mutant City Blues, you’ll know that I greatly appreciate the design concepts presented. Hard Helix keeps those up. It’s a supplement packed with content from beginning to end. Robin doesn’t waste words, here.

The first adventure is Hard Helix, something of a political exercise. It has a relatively large cast, and sets up some interesting ‘canon’ characters for the setting.

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Hoodoo Blues RPG Review

Posted on June 11, 2010 by

Advertising will sometimes try to sell a movie as the funniest of the year . . . during the third week in January. I think that’s a fairly short-sighted marketing approach, but maybe people don’t remember that eleven more months will doubtlessly have contenders to the self-proclaimed title. Why even bring it up? Because I want to explain my take on this RPG. I’m not going to call this the coolest RPG I read in 2010 . . . yet.

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Okko: Cycle of Air, Book One Review

Posted on June 10, 2010 by

OKKO: THE CYCLE OF AIR, BOOK ONE is the third cycle in the OKKO series from Guy Delcourt Productions and Archaia Entertainment, LLC. It stands well on its own, though reading the other cycles in the series (Water and Earth) and knowing some of the background of the setting will no doubt lend more fluidity to the events of the story.

The plot focuses on Samurai Okko, his entourage, and their attempts to help a girl that is seemingly haunted by spirits.

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Jason Thorson

Survival of the Dead Movie Review

Posted on June 9, 2010 by

In horror circles, one of the things the last decade will be remembered for is a zombie renaissance. The walking dead have been everywhere, from the big screen to books and from comics to games. The dead literally have been taking over the world. Well, insofar as cheap entertainment is concerned. As is always the case when a niche becomes a commodity, the genre becomes oversaturated.

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Interview with Joe R Lansdale

Posted on June 8, 2010 by

I was recently given the opportunity to take a crack at legendary “Mojo” author Joe R Lansdale’s latest books, a new collected short stories anthology and a newly collected version of all three “At the Drive in” series-featuring never before seen art from the un-produced film of the same title and on top of that, I got a wonderful Email from Matt asking if I would like a chance to interview Mr. Lansdale for Flames Rising, well of course I jumped at the chance so here, without further ado and good sense, is the interview.

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Crossed: Family Values No 1 Review

Posted on June 8, 2010 by

“Nothing is sacred as Crossed returns! The biggest hit horror series of the year returns with an all-new six-issue series written by David (Stray Bullets) Lapham! Set right at the start of the Crossed outbreak, this epic tale of depravity promises to shock and disturb you with even more intensity than the first series! The Pratt family lived a idyllic life on a horse ranch in North Carolina. A few generations of family working, living, and learning together. But not all things should be shared with, nor done to, other human beings. Much less your own family. Some men are just born evil, some men are turned Crossed. But which is worse? Imagine, for a moment, the worst crimes against humanity.

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Megan

Trail of Cthulhu: Rough Magicks RPG Review

Posted on June 7, 2010 by

The Introduction lays out the intention of this work: to provide an optional systematic approach to magic that can be used within a Trail of Cthulhu game by the characters and/or their antagonists as the Keeper so chooses. Well, the antagonists probably will be using magic at times, but not necessarily according to a set of rules; their spells may be created as appropriate for the needs of the adventure being played.

The first chapter – Which Magic? – goes into greater detail about sources. Naturally, Mythos literature looms large, but Lovecraft was by and large unclear about the underlying mechanics of his magic, using it to create the desired effect without much regard to what was going on.

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Flames

David Niall Wilson’s Roll Them Bones Now Available as an Audiobook

Posted on June 6, 2010 by

In Random, Illinois, not much has changed in the last century. Things there move more slowly than they do in the city. At times, history seems to be moving in reverse. That’s how it seems; some folks would say that’s how it is.

For Jason, Frank, Ronnie and Lizzy, there are bits and pieces of the past that won’t go away. Not in the daylight world, and not in their dreams. They shared a secret, a bond of silence and guilt. They shared the memory of an old woman’s dry, crackling voice, the heat and sizzling terror of flames beyond their control, and the mesmerizing image of a handful of bones.

Roll Them Bones is now available in audio format at DriveThruFantasy.com.

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Hellfrost: Bestiary RPG Review

Posted on June 4, 2010 by

Before I dive into this review, let me point out that it reads differently. I think a good review should not only weigh a product’s pros and cons. No, they should also speak to previous tastes and biases. Comparisons. Rather than dwell here, let’s dive right into the Hellfrost: Bestiary review.

Hellfrost: Bestiary (Triple Ace Games; 132 Pages) is a massive collection of fantasy monsters for the Hellfrost setting and Savage Worlds’ game engine. The book covers all manner of vile creature from the evil deer (page 20) to truly loathsome Dread Liche (page 84). These antagonists also offer many variations of trouble for PCs. There are “tanks” with toughness of 23, psionics, pesky swarms, and mystical adversaries. Trouble. Loads of trouble.

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Steven Dawes

Bigfoot War Review

Posted on June 3, 2010 by

I’ve been put through the literary meat grinder recently with good books like Darkness on the Edge of Town and On the Third Day. So I figured it was time to read something a little lighter of subject; something not quite so epic this time around. You know, something frightening… but fun! To that end, my reviewer’s copy of Bigfoot War couldn’t have come in the mail at a better time!

I’ve never read a Bigfoot horror story before; to be honest, most of my experience with Bigfoot comes from either watching Harry & the Henderson’s or watching the car crushing eponymous monster truck. I knew nothing about author Eric S. Brown either, but fortunately he spilled his own can of beans in the book’s introduction.

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Flames

Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Preview

Posted on June 2, 2010 by

Inside the June Alley Inn, located in the western mouse city of Barkstone, mice gather to tell tales, each trying to outdo the other. A competition, of sorts, begins. The game: Tell the best story, get your bar tab cleared! The rules: Every story must contain one truth, one lie and have never been told in that tavern before.

Legends of the Guard is a new Mouse Guard anthology series featuring the work of artists and storytellers handpicked by series creator David Petersen. Featured in this issue are stories by Jeremy Bastian (Cursed Pirate Girl), Alex Sheikman (Robotika) and Ted Naifeh (Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things).

Flames Rising is pleased to present several preview pages from this new comic published by Archaia Entertainment.

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teampreston

The Chapter’s Due Review

Posted on June 2, 2010 by


War is unending in the life of a Space Marine. After defeating Tau forces, Captain Uriel Ventris of the Ultramarines has returned to the Chapter’s homeworld of Macragge, but there is little respite. The Ultramarines are thrust back into battle, and this time the enemy is the Chapter’s greatest nemesis. The traitorous Iron Warriors, led by renegade Warsmith Honsou, have gathered together a massive and brutal warband. Their target is the realm of Ultramar. Their objective is total annihilation. It is a final showdown between legendary Space Marines, and Uriel Ventris must take on the might of Honsou if he is to save his Chapter’s homeworld.

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Flames

Interview with Cam Banks at Margaret Weis Productions

Posted on June 1, 2010 by

Flames Rising recently had the chance to talk to Editor & Developer Cam Banks from Margaret Weis Productions about the Supernatural RPG, as well as upcoming games like Leverage and Smallville. Cam told us about some of the recent products like Supernatural’s Guide to the Hunted and we talked a little about some of the more interested elements of working on licensed properties as RPGs.

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Flames

Insylum RPG Review

Posted on June 1, 2010 by

INSYLUM, a role-playing-game by Dennis Detwiller, has players locked away in an asylum as Patients, with the gamesmaster playing the asylum Facilitator hoping to cure them. The Patients are all linked in a strange and vague way, all recollecting fragments of their past. At night they are able to escape their cells, venturing out into a surreal dreamscape beyond the walls of the asylum, known as The Night World.

I’d suggest the game is for experienced gamesmasters with some knowledge of the background material (see below). The Patients all begin the game with amnesia. They all have the same stats (and only three of those). The core premise is that that they have no memory of why they’ve been locked away, and their key motivation being to discover the truth that sent them there, by regaining first Lucidity and then Memory. Only by regaining Memory can the Patient hope to be cured.

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