Archive | July, 2010

Billzilla

Curse of the Full Moon Review

Posted on July 30, 2010 by

While the full moon rarely has a dramatic an effect on most people, there are some who will admit that they can feel the pull of the moon, at least in subtle ways — and crime statistics bear this out year after year. For those rare few for whom the moon activates a profound curse, the world becomes a different place entirely – a world filled with soft, slow creatures to be hunted, attacked and devoured. Give thanks that those with such a curse are still a rarity…

In Curse of the Full Moon, James Lowder has collected 19 tales from an impressive collection of horror luminaries: George R.R. Martin, Ursula LeGuin, Ramsey Campbell, Charles DeLint, Michael Moorcock and Neil Gaiman are just a few of the names any fan of contemporary fiction will recognize, but the list doesn’t end there. Joe R. Lansdale, Nancy A. Collins, Peter S. Beagle, Gene Wolfe and Harlan Ellison also contribute tales to this collection.

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Death of Dracula No. 1 Comic Review

Posted on July 29, 2010 by

“He is the legendary Lord of the Vampires. Dracula. Who would dare attempt to overthrow him? Only Dracula’s son Xarus, a ruthless and clever upstart with the bold ambition to unite all the world’s vampire sects under one flag. But Xarus’s older brother Janus isn’t sure he likes the idea of a new regime and seeks allies to oppose Xarus. The ultimate battle to control Earth’s Creatures of the Night unfolds, with the future of the vampire race and possibly the Marvel Universe at stake.“

I wasn’t super blown away by the artwork in this story. However it was strong enough for me not to hate it. When it came to character designs, I don’t know why Dracula was changed at all. Hell he looked like he was one of the Voltron bad guys. Sure it would have been strange to see all these other cool vampires and then some dude in a cape, so I will give them that, but why not just update him to look like he is the most intriguing looking man in the room. Almost like a president.

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Flames

Maschine Zeit RPG Preview

Posted on July 28, 2010 by

Last week David Hill shared some of his thoughts on the creative process that went into the new RPG, Maschine Zeit in an essay called: Ghost Stories on Space Stations here at Flames Rising.

Now we’re pleased to show you a sneak peek at the setting of this game with a little bit of fiction called The Scholar and The Sages.

Maschine Zeit is available now at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

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Flames

Brunner The Bounty Hunter: Omnibus edition Review

Posted on July 28, 2010 by

His name is Brunner. Goblins, vampires, fugitives, and even dragons – they’re all fair game for this lethal killer’s blade. Across the length and breadth of the grim Warhammer Old World, Brunner plies his trade, applying his skills and intelligence to track down and slaughter sinister fiends. But he also faces challenges from within his own dubious profession as a rival bounty hunter stakes a claim to his bounty. Enter the dark and dangerous world of a ruthless bounty hunter.

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The Digital Plague Review

Posted on July 27, 2010 by

So about a month ago, when I was looking for something to read that didn’t concern itself with hordes of zombies and or the living dead in the big box book retailer I happened to glance over at the Sci-Fi section and see this wonderfully packaged series of books by author Jeff Somers, they had a smart design and yeah as shallow as it sounds, I look for that sort of thing when I purchase a book. Because you can at times- judge a book by its cover. Presentation is over half the product, and yeah, OK, I have been burned before by the way something has so handily caught my eye on the shelf.

Seeing that it was put out by Orbit books, who also put out Feed by Mira Grant, one of my 2010 top picks for Zombie reading, I was intrigued enough to purchase The Electric Church.

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teampreston

Pathfinder Tales: Prince of Wolves Review

Posted on July 26, 2010 by

The Pathfinder Tales are a series of novels set in the fantastic new Pathfinder RPG setting. Having read several tie-in novels for a wide variety of settings/ games I was excited to give this a shot. I think my excitement was well placed; the novel is a lot of fun and a fantastic “first look” in to rich Pathfinder setting.

The author does something we see little of these days (it seems) in utilizing the first-person perspective. Admittedly it took a chapter or so to warm up to it, but it seemed to really work. The first person perspective makes the events of the story seem a bit more personal and the author did a fine job in making some really interesting characters.

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Flames

Christmas in July Sale at RPGNow and DriveThruComics!

Posted on July 24, 2010 by

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, the Flames Rising RPGNow Store is where the discounts are at!

That’s right, Christmas in July is here! Get 25% off of thousands of products by dozens of great publishers! Put the jingle bells on, and keep some jingle in your pocket, too!

Save on titles from White Wolf, Mongoose, Green Ronin, Pinnacle, AEG, Margaret Weis Productions, Crafty Games, Malhavoc Press, Cubicle 7 and more!

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Flames

James Semple and Monica Valentinelli Partner for Trailer

Posted on July 22, 2010 by

Earlier this year, FlamesRising.com announced the release of an e-book by Monica Valentinelli, Shari Hill and Leanne Buckley entitled THE QUEEN OF CROWS. Since its release on DriveThruHorror.com, this $4.99 e-book has gotten rave reviews for its unique design and strong emphasis on the reader.

Today, we are pleased to announce that a promotional trailer has been released for THE QUEEN OF CROWS. The trailer was designed by Monica Valentinelli and employs an aged, historical feel. The music was composed by James Semple, a professional in the entertainment industry. Together, the pair worked on deciding the feel of the music and how it fit with the dark images in the trailer. Once the theme of the music was decided, Semple worked his magic and incorporated sound effects into the dramatic clip.

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Day by Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile Review

Posted on July 22, 2010 by

It’s come to my own personal attention that there are no longer any things in this world that excite me. It’s not that I am some dispassionate postmodern intellectual existential snob, OK-maybe I am, but it’s not as if my world view doesn’t allow for some joy. And when I got the email from Jacob over at Permuted Press, regarding an opportunity to review “Day by Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile” from Zombie fiction legend, JL Bourne, I danced the dance of a thousand joys; which if you don’t know what that is –well, imagine a fully grown man running around flapping his arms like a 12 year old girl who just got to meet “Edward” from the “Twilight” saga.

Yeah- I will hang my head in shame as I write this. But my joy is still there, you can’t take that away from me.

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Megan

Basic Role Playing: Quickstart Edition Review

Posted on July 21, 2010 by

As the Introduction states, this is a distillation of the core of Chaosium’s Basic Role Playing system, the mechanic that has powered many of the company’s best-known games such as Call of Cthulhu and RuneQuest. While the full system fills many pages, it is simple enough for the core to be presented fully-playable here, as an introduction or for use with a setting other than the main game lines.

The Introduction continues with an explanation of what role-playing games are all about, particularly useful if you’re using this work as an introduction to this type of game as well as to the BRP system. In describing what role-playing consists of, mention is made of the range of genres and settings you can play in…

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Flames

World of Darkness: Mirrors eBook available now!

Posted on July 20, 2010 by

What would I be, if God wanted me to be something different? I would be whatever God saw fit to make me.

I would be a crow picking at the bones of the dead. I would be a worm nestled in the heart of my enemies.

I would be a faceless angel. I would be a rabid wolf. I would be a broken mirror.

But make no mistake, my children.

Whatever God sees fit for me, one thing will never change. I will always be a monster.

– Solomon Birch

World of Darkness: Mirrors is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

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teampreston

Nemesis Fiction Review

Posted on July 20, 2010 by

After the horrors of Istvaan V, Horus declares outright war against the Imperium. In the shadows of the Emperor’s Palace, powerful figures convene. Their plan is to send a team of assassins to execute the arch-traitor Horus and end the war for the galaxy of mankind before it has even begun. But what they cannot know is that another assassin is abroad already, with his sights firmly set on killing the Emperor.

The Officio Assassinorum: we’ve been waiting on something like this for decades, and James Swallow delivers it. As expected it involves scheming at the top levels of the Imperium in order to end this civil war as quickly and painlessly as possible – anything to save The Emperor and his Imperium.

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David A Hill Jr “Ghost Stories on Space Stations”

Posted on July 19, 2010 by

Game Designer, David Hill jumps into our design essay series with some notes on the development of the Maschine Zeit RPG. David tells us about some of the cinematic inspirations for the setting of this new RPG as well as the goals that went into the initial development of the system.

When I advertise Maschine Zeit, I call it, “Ghost Stories on Space Stations.” I wanted to talk briefly on that. Over the years, there’s been this sub-genre of horror films that are fundamentally haunted house stories, set in science fiction environments. The sub-genre really got its chops with the release of Ridley Scott’s masterpiece, Alien. Looking around at various RPGs, I didn’t feel that the genre had been properly emulated, so that’s what I’d set out to do. What this resulted in was an RPG that, in my opinion, shares a number of conventions with popular games, while eschewing many.

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Rombies Issue 0 Comic Review

Posted on July 19, 2010 by

“Rome wasn’t built in a day… but it may crumble in one. Titans battle in the arena. A thumb turns down. A sword comes down. A dead man… stands up? Racing through dark, narrow tunnels beneath the Colosseum, two heroes and a child join together to escape their pursuers. Pursuers who were once men. Hungry men. Undead men. Rombies. Friends, Romans, Countrymen… Lend me your brains!“

Have you ever picked up a book where you knew the tone of the story just from the art? Well that is what you have here. A beautifully done issue, that the art really depicts what is going on in the story. Gore-geous looking zombies and nice crisp panels page after page.

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Dead The Ugly Beginning Review

Posted on July 15, 2010 by

I find that as time goes on and I continue reading more and more works in the survival horror/zombie fiction genre that there are good stories, there bad stories and then there are the exceptional ones, that no matter how many times you’ve seen or read the formula-and of course dear reader there is always a formula- you don’t get tired of it. Those works of fiction are the best examples of what the “Zombie” has to offer, and many times it’s the simple disconnection from the everyday, the little glimpses of truth which hold the story up. The idea of modern man faced with the unexplainable horror of reanimated corpses thirsty for flesh, with no rhyme or reason for their new existence,and how they deal with it- those are the greatest aspects of the genre.

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Megan

Shadows Over Filmland RPG Review

Posted on July 14, 2010 by

This work opens with ‘Double Feature,’ a scholarly essay comparing and contrasting 1930s horror movies with Lovecraft’s work: similar themes but different treatments. Lovecraft describes everything in detail while movies suggest with light and shadow, much being left to the viewer’s imagination. Many elements are common to both, but the movies have more random, innocent victims while most of Lovecraft’s bring horror upon themselves; and in the movies the monsters usually are defeated by the final reel… even if they return in the sequel! Your games will likely draw on both horror movies and the written word, and those pesky Mythos horrors have a habit of popping up in the next adventure.

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Age of Cthulhu: Shadows of Leningrad Review

Posted on July 13, 2010 by

Shadows of Leningrad is the third in Goodman Games’ Age of Cthulhu series. These adventures, set in the 1920s, allow for pulpish globetrotting (Luxor and London set the scenes for the first two adventures). While these adventures can possibly become rather violent, their design strongly favors a traditional investigative format. With an unforgiving setting (early Communist Russia), a generous sampling of supernatural entities, and mundane threats, the adventure proves to be a daunting one.

The book’s smart layout ran a printer-friendly gambit of basic two-column text, minimal artwork, and good looking bordering along the headers and footers. When sidebars popped up, they were positioned at the bottoms of the pages.

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Flames

The Girls with Games of Blood Chapter Preview

Posted on July 12, 2010 by

Listen to what I tell you, son, every word is true
The sisters haunt the night, and might fight over you
Nothing can steal your soul and stamp it in the mud
Like being the new play-pretty for the girls with the games of blood . . .

The old song warns of the beautiful Bolade sisters, Patience and Prudence, whose undying rivalry was said to stretch even beyond the grave. But Count Rudolfo Vladimir Zginski has never heard the song. A suave Continental vampire, staked to death more than sixty years ago, he has risen to stalk the Southern nights of Memphis, Tennessee, circa 1975. Although new to the modern world, he has quickly developed a taste for its hot blood, willing women, and high-speed automobiles.

Alex Bledsoe, author of Blood Groove, returns to he world of the undead with a tale of fast cars and vengeance that never dies. . . .

Flames Rising is pleased to present the first chapter of The Girls with Games of Blood.

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Flames

Rage Movie and Soundtrack Review

Posted on July 12, 2010 by

A mad scientist is experimenting with viral Rage in the middle of the woods. One of the victims of this crazy doctor’s experiment goes mad, escapes and kills the Doctor himself before escaping into the woods, where he meets his death from the Virus. After eating the corpse of the infected victim, the Rage Virus spread to the wild vultures. This causes a lot of horrific problems for visitors and campers to the woods. The birds attack several hikers in the area, spreading and mutating the virus into the plant-life as well. The Vultures infect victims by spraying this yellow slime into their faces. After a group of concert goers get tangled up in this mess when their RV is pretty much decimated by a Raging Zombie and air bombed by Raging Vultures.

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Flames

Announcing the 2010 ENnie Award Nominees

Posted on July 9, 2010 by

After going through hundreds of entries, the judges have narrowed the field and selected the nominees for each of the 20 categories. On behalf of the judges and the Board of Directors, please allow me to congratulate each publisher for their nomination(s) for the Tenth Annual ENnie Awards. Voting for the ENnies will begin on July 16th. Until then, feel free to view the nominees and offer your own congratulations.

Visit the official announcement page for links to all of the products listed below:

The judges have chosen five products for each category below. The HM products (Honorable Mention) are products that the judges really liked, but fell short of an actual nomination. For more information, click on a product’s name. Winners will be announced on the evening of Friday, August 6th at Gen Con!

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11 Tales of Ghostly Horror

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