Archive | August, 2010

Cthulhu Week: The Calling: Cthulhu Chronicles 1 Comic Review

Posted on August 17, 2010 by

This is a great looking issue. While it’s not rich in detail, the character designs have a great look and feel to them. They are nice and consistent from panel to panel, and there are even some great details in the backgrounds. The colors work well to showcase the mood and even help get the fear flowing with the gruesome images. Overall a great looking issue.

The story is by far the selling point on this issue. I can’t go too deep into it, but how freaking scary is that ending! So the start of the story had me a little confused, but as it went on I start to get a good feel for it. Nice character building throughout, you get a good sense of most of the cast. But all of that is just on hold when you reach that final page.

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Flames

Cthulhu Week: Your Top 20 Cthulhu Mythos Reviews

Posted on August 16, 2010 by

Cthulhu Scribe by Drew PoczaWhat do you and Cthulhu have in common? A love of the mythos, of course! In this post, we take a look at your favorite reviews of Cthulhu and other Mythos-related music, games, comics, books and films that you’ve enjoyed over the years. While we have an extensive selection of Lovecraft-related reviews and articles on the site, we chose these twenty not only because you really enjoyed reading these, but also because we felt that they were definitely worth a second look during Cthulhu Week. After all, who better to recommend something Cthulhu-related than your fellow cultists readers here on FlamesRising.com?

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Flames

Cthulhu Week and Contest at FlamesRising.com! Ia, Ia!

Posted on August 16, 2010 by

Did you know that H.P. Lovecraft was born on August 20th in 1890? We did! In honor of H.P. Lovecraft’s birthday, we’re having a week filled with Cthulhu! Whether you’re a gamer or a horror aficionado, we will have something for everyone.

Cthulhu Week at FlamesRising.com is special in a lot of ways because of Lovecraft’s influence on the horror genre. Over the years, we’ve covered books, movies, games and music that were either directly or indirectly related to the Cthulhu Mythos. Hands down, Cthulhu is definitely your favorite elder god. From our interviews with Kenneth Hite, Joseph Vargo and A. Scott Glancy to our coverage of the Trail of Cthulhu RPG, Unspeakable Words board game, the Beyond the Wall of Sleep review and several other books, comics, movies and games, it’s clear what an influence Lovecraft has had on the horror genre. We have a lot of really great goodies in the pipeline, including a wonderful contribution from Robin D. Laws, who provided the rules design for TRAIL OF CTHULHU!!!

If you don’t want to lose your mind, be sure to stay tuned this week as we travel to the underwater city of Ry’leh to embrace all things Cthulhu! “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!”

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Flames

Band of Zombies announced for All Flesh Must Be Eaten RPG

Posted on August 12, 2010 by

Coming this November, Eden Studios is proud to announce Band of Zombies.

Band of Zombies is the new World War II sourcebook for All Flesh Must Be Eaten, and it is positively packed with new surprises. Inside you will find:

• New Qualities, Drawbacks, Inspired Miracles, and Zombie Aspects
• Detailed Rules for Dogfighting and Naval Combat
• Rules for Shell Shock, Combat Stress, and Madness
• New gear, from guns to aircraft to naval vessels to tanks
• Mass Combat rules
• Advice on running campaigns in World War II, from fire teams to commando squads, to SOE operatives behind enemy lines.
• And more!

So strap on your rucksack, hoist your SMG, keep your socks dry, and for cripes’ sake, Private, don’t forget the call sign! When they come shambling out of the dark, will you stand tall or join the armies of the dead?

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teampreston

Smallville RPG Review

Posted on August 12, 2010 by

I believe that many folks judge a product based on their experiences with it filtered through the looking glass of expectation. If we expect X and get Y, we are often upset and our reviews of it tend to reflect that. I think the expectations of the Smallville need to be straight up front else the experience will suffer. This year there are other “Supers” RPGs being released. Smallville is considerably different in favor from the others in focus and vibe.

To get an idea of what the Smallville RPG is about consider the tele-drama it is based upon: young adults and all the weird social issues young people have. Add to these a variety of secrets and plots surrounding exceptional people and you almost have it. Make those exceptional people super-human…and it hits the mark.

While super heroes and super powers are a factor, I think it’s safe to say that they are flavor and useful as tools to deal with social issues and complications rather than the fix-all. This isn’t Mutants and Masterminds, Champions or DC Adventures.

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Flames

Yazata: The Persian Gods RPG Review

Posted on August 11, 2010 by

Yazata is a new Pantheon for Scion done in the style of the Companion Pantheon sections for the Tuatha De Dannan, Celestial Bureaucracy, and Devas in the Scion Companion. It offers a look at a new Pantheon, their history, virtues, and PSP, some Birthrights, sample characters, and an examination of their Overworld, Underworld, and a Titan to menace them. Yazatas also offers a new All Purpose Purview, Stars, and an Adventure, The God, The Bad and the Ugly.

My familiarity with Persian mythology is mediocre. I am more familiar with it than the typical fellow on the street, but I would not say I have a professional’s grasp of it. Take my comments therefore with the appropriate grain of salt. On the other hand, I have run Scion heavily for over three years and have a good idea of how it works. As this is going up on a horror site, I’ll note like the other Scion books Yazata is not a horror game; if you’re looking for something to give a good scare at the table, you will want to give this a pass.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Elminster Must Die, an interview with Ed Greenwood

Posted on August 10, 2010 by

Elminster Returns!

Elminster Must Die is the debut 4th edition appearance of one of the Forgotten Realms world’s most iconic characters, written by the creator of the original Forgotten Realms campaign setting. An instant classic, and a must-read for every Realms fan.

When the goddess of magic was murdered, Elminster’s world shattered. Once the most powerful wizard in the world, immortal, beloved of the goddess of magic, and the bane of villainy, he is now a tired old man. He is powerful but mortal, and with all the enemies a man who makes a habit of saving the world tends to accumulate. To make matters worse, Elminster has needs—feeding powerful magic items to the Simbul, his lover, is the only thing that keeps her sane—but their increasingly risky collection leads his enemies right to him.

Flames Rising is pleased to present a new interview with Elminster Must Die author Ed Greenwood.

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Todd’s Gen Con 2010 Adventure

Posted on August 9, 2010 by

They call it “The Best Four Days in Gaming,” but for me Gencon turned out to be one single day of hyper-kinetic goodness dotted by plenty of booth babes to punctuate my day. Going to Gencon in order to enjoy the event is quite different than being a man on a mission, well, missions. There were some fantastic new products this year, such as new releases in the Cthluhutech and Eclipse Phase lines. I picked up Smallville (and the Leverage Quickstart Job adventure) to see what twists they would bring to the Cortex system. I mean how could Clark Kent sport a D12 Strength when Jayne from Serenity does the same thing (Cam Banks’ answer to that question proves pretty interesting). White Wolf took a bold move by, well, not bringing a single book to read this year (though the booth, which looked like a Vampiric salon, was hopping with excited patrons looking to hear about upcoming products and get their drink on). Companies like Out of the Box had a fleet of new party and educational games while Wits and Wagers had both an expansion and family edition available (would have liked to see Say Anything release an expansion too, but oh well).

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Flames

A Taste of Blood and Roses Preview

Posted on August 7, 2010 by

A TASTE OF BLOOD AND ROSES is a collection of horror short stories that spans two decades of work by Bram Stoker Award winning author David Niall Wilson. From the streets of Jerusalem to the historical life of Vlad Tepes, follow this prolific author through eleven tales of vampirism, lycanthropy, and darkness. There’s a bit of dark humor, a touch of the erotic, and a little something for everyone who loves creatures of the night. Also…these vampires are guaranteed not to sparkle.

Flames Risingis pleased to present a short story entitled A Candle in the Sun for you to read from this anthology by David Niall Wilson.

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Berserker Issues 1 – 4 Comic Review

Posted on August 6, 2010 by

The BERSERKER comic series is a violent thrill-ride. It sets up a world where power is found only in destruction, and the conclusion is not likely to be a “pretty” one. Heroes get slaughtered and there are numerous super-villains and secret societies vying for control of the future. Through it all, ordinary people with extraordinary abilities are trapped in the middle and used as pawns. (Sound familiar? The BERSERKER comic does things a bit differently. One major super-human ability [so far], more blood, more guts, and more chaos – all with a base in Norse history and mythology.)

The cover art for each issue is, once again, amazing. Dale Keown, Jeremy Haun and Dave McCaig really bring their A-games to the various covers with just a few choice images and colors. Violent, of course, but with careful details that seem to convey more than just a gorefest.

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Interview with Author Jeff Somers

Posted on August 5, 2010 by

OK folks, I have been a little busy, well, not really busy but more like really, really lazy. And the last few things that I have written were pretty standard, and lacking an essential “Ericness,” but with this interview with author Jeff Somers, I think that I have somewhat recaptured, with the help of the masterful author himself, the spirit that I started out my career at Flames Rising with.

So, if you don’t know who Jeff Somers is, or have never read the Avery Cates novels (The Electric Church, The Digital Plague or The Eternal Prison) then you, dear reader haven’t been reading the right Science Fiction. So without further delay I present to you the hilarious and informative interview with Jeff Somers, whose most recent novel “The Terminal State,” will hit bookstores in paperback this upcoming August.

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Megan

Dr Who: Adventures in Time and Space Review

Posted on August 5, 2010 by

Childhood revisited yet thoroughly contemporary: back in 1963 a very small Megan watched from behind the sofa (the Daleks terrified me!), and now I revel in the relaunch over the past five years… here in my hands is a box which like the Tardis itself contains far more than you’d think from the outside!

Just as the subject matter takes me back to childhood, presentation harks back to early role-playing games: a boxed set, ‘all you need to play’ even some dice. Purchasers of the PDF version get everything except box and dice, although you’ll have to print out cards & counters. The game itself – in both presentation and mechanics – is designed to be accessible to newcomers to role-playing as well as to those who have been playing a long time.

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Flames

Exalted’s Return of the Scarlet Empress Now Available!

Posted on August 4, 2010 by

The Scarlet Empress returns and, unknown to most, heralds the Yozi Reclamation.

Soon, Creation will be plunged into conflict. Whether they support the Empress’s efforts or oppose her at every turn, the world’s Exalted will be at the heart of the struggle. In the end, as the heavens shake and the Blessed Isle burns, what tales will they tell of your deeds?

Return of the Scarlet Empress is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

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Flames

Bloodborn Review

Posted on August 4, 2010 by

Ulrika Magdova, reluctant vampire, is struggling to control her thirst for blood. For the protection of herself and others, a coven of vampires has given Ulrika sanctuary, so she can safely adapt to a life of darkness. But before she learns to control her strange new powers, that sanctuary is endangered.

In the city of Nuln something is preying upon this ancient race, and threatening to expose their existence to the nation. A witchhunt has begun and people are calling for the destruction of the vampires. With nowhere to hide, Ulrika and her mentor, the Countess Gabriella, must hunt down this mysterious killer before they become its next victims.

Let me start by saying that vampires have never really been my thing. Other than loving Gary Oldman as Dracula and staring at Kate Beckinsale I haven’t been attracted to them the way many people are. I have always thought of vampires as being great villains when done right, but more often than not, they are done all wrong in the worst kind of way. Yeah that’s right Twilight; I am looking at you….

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alanajoli

Artifacts Issue 1 Comic Review

Posted on August 3, 2010 by

Here is is, folks, Artifacts #1, the first issue of the big cross-over event of the Top Cow universe, just now out at your local comic shop. And is it ever off to a bang. In several of the Top Cow series, we’ve been hearing about the 13 artifacts and how dangerous it would be to bring them all together. (Potentially, you know, the end of the world.) Some of the artifact holders are actively working toward that. Others are, of course, working against it, not wanting to be a party to Armageddon. But when Tom Judge is released from Hell bearing the Rapture, one of the 13, it begins to look like fate (or some power like it) is at work, bringing them together.

We open in New York with Sara Pezzini, the bearer of the Witchblade, fighting a minion of hell who is killing priests, looking for one in specific, the aforementioned Tom Judge.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Shane DeFreest tells us about The Grand Masquerade

Posted on August 2, 2010 by

FlamesRising.com is pleased to present you with an inside look at an event called “The Grand Masquerade.” This annual event, hosted by White Wolf Publishing, is held for fans of the World of Darkness. This interview was conducted by FlamesRising.com’s editor-in-chief Matt M McElroy, who is also a long-time fan, Storyteller and promoter of White Wolf.

I had the chance recently to sit down with Shane DeFreest, World of Darkness Community Developer for CCP/White Wolf, and ask him about the upcoming gathering called The Grand Masquerade. The Grand Masquerade is a World of Darkness Convention being held on September 23-26, 2010 at the Roosevelt Waldorf Astoria Hotel located in the New Orleans French Quarter.

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Flames

Eden Studios to Bring Hack/Slash to Gaming!

Posted on August 2, 2010 by

Eden Studios announces today an agreement with Tim Seeley, creator of the HACK/SLASH™ horror comic book series, for the design, production, and distribution of the HACK/SLASH roleplaying and card games. Currently in development, the HACK/SLASH card game will be released late in 2010.

Eden Studios has a knack for making great games based on survival horror, and HACK/SLASH is a perfect fit for their line-up. Cassie Hack is the lone survivor of an attack by the vicious killer known as the Lunch Lady. HACK/SLASH chronicles the travels of Cassie and her monstrous partner Vlad as they crisscross the country, hunting down and destroying supernatural slashers before the uncanny butchers can claim more victims. The series features a perfect balance of horror and dark humor, and plots that put a fresh spin on the familiar themes and iconic characters of comics, gaming, and, of course, slasher flicks.

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Flames

Arrgh! Thar Be Zombies! Preview

Posted on August 1, 2010 by

Avast! Thar be ghastly things that sail these waters!

Whether labeled privateers or buccaneers, everyone feared pirates during the Age of Sail. Now the pirates have something to be afraid of . . . the livin’ dead! From voodoo queens to ghost ships, swashbuckling with zombies is a whole different jug of grog.

So tighten them sails! Hoist the Jolly Roger an’ go on the account with the brethren o’ the sea! But ‘ware the shout from the crows’ nest, “Argh! Thar Be Zombies!” They’ll be after more than ye gold!

So trim the sails and hoist the Jolly Roger. Arrgh! Thar Be Zombies!

ARRGH! Thar Be Zombies is a supplement for the All Flesh Must Be Eaten roleplaying game, published by Eden Studios. Flames Rising is pleased to present an exclusive preview of this new book.

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11 Tales of Ghostly Horror

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