Archive | February, 2011

Flames

Vampire The Danse Macabre Preview

Posted on February 28, 2011 by

Dance ‘Til Sunrise

What are you willing to do to make it through tonight? What about tomorrow night? And after the deeds are done and your belly’s full of blood, how are you going to live with yourself?

The Danse Macabre asks those questions in new ways, and provides new tools to answer them in your own chronicle. So let’s get some razors, and open up some old wounds…

The definitive companion to Vampire: The Requiem.

Flames Rising is pleased to present an exclusive excerpt from this new Vampire: the Requiem sourcebook from White Wolf. Danse Macabre is available at Amazon.com and RPGNow.com.

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Flames

Announcing Black Crusade, a Warhammer 40k Roleplaying Game

Posted on February 25, 2011 by

It is the 41st millennium, a future in which the vast Imperium of Man stretches light-years across the galaxy. The wildly popular Warhammer 40,000 universe is one of constant strife; for untold billions, merely to be born is to be condemned to a lifetime of cruel suffering under an unforgiving and draconian regime. Only a select few in positions of power possess limited freedom: the Inquisitors who hunt heretics, the Rogue Traders who gather wealth, and the Deathwatch Space Marines who combat the alien threat. Science and technology offer little promise of relief; too much has been lost since the Dark Age of Technology, and all that is left goes to fuel the Imperium’s mighty war machine. It is a universe of grim darkness.

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Feeding Ground 1 – 2 Comic Review

Posted on February 25, 2011 by

“This new series is ripped right out of the real-life drama unfolding on the Mexico-Arizona border! FEEDING GROUND reaches a large and diverse audience no matter your personal point of view on the issue. In this factious story, a famine caused by Blackwell Industries drives Diego Busqueda, a noble “coyote,” to lead a band of Mexican border crossers across the unforgiving Devil’s Highway, a desert cursed with blistering days and deadly nights. Back home, Diego’s daughter Flaca discovers that something hungrier prowls the factory fields. Stalked and persecuted, can the Busqueda family maintain their dreams of immigration or will the horrors of the desert tear them apart?”

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Eric Pollarine tells us about A Man of Letters

Posted on February 23, 2011 by

Here are the young men, with weights on their shoulders or what it’s like to be a typist.

I was half way through with it, my first real attempt at writing a novel, I was so close.

I had typed, roughly, 40,000 words. Real words mind you, not these contrived little things that you see on the screen in front of you currently, but real actual words that were going to tell a real actual story. And then I had to stop, give up and start all over again. Because they weren’t the words I needed to say, or write, or put on the paper. They were the words that I was trying to say, or write or put on the paper. And it just wasn’t F-ing happening.

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Flames

Braaaaaiiiinnnnssss. Pre-Order The Zombie Feed, Volume One

Posted on February 23, 2011 by

Former Stoker Award-nominated editor Jason Sizemore compiles seventeen tasty, brainy morsels of zombie short fiction in The Zombie Feed: Volume 1.

Zombie fiction from many sub-genres are represented here: zombie apocalypse, zombie survival, zombies in human society, zombie hunters, and more. And the one thread interlocking these disparate groups–ZOMBIE MAYHEM! This action packed anthology takes a syringe full of contaminated adrenaline-laced undead and slams 1000 CCs directly into your chest cavity.

Fast paced, yet thoughtful, The Zombie Feed: Volume I will sate your appetite… at least temporarily.

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Billzilla

Revere: Revolution in Silver Review

Posted on February 22, 2011 by

Mash-ups are all the rage; whether it be Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, or any number of lesser-known works, putting two seemingly unlikely things together has become a literary obsession recently. Revere: Revolution in Silver carries on this growing tradition, positing that, in his spare time, Paul Revere was actually a werewolf hunter and member of an occult organization dedicated to defending the world against supernatural threats.

With the early days of the American Revolution as the backdrop, Revere: Revolution in Silver takes this premise and runs with it. Doing an interesting bit of world-building, writer Lavallee and artist Bond create a whole new mythology around the famous American revolutionary.

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Hellfrost Region Guide 0: Of Men and Gods Review

Posted on February 21, 2011 by

The Hellfrost Region Guides are short, inexpensive pdfs (earlier guides tended to cover larger areas, and are 12 pages, later ones cover smaller areas and tend to be 6 pages) covering a particular aspect (usually geographic) of the world of Rassilon. In this series of reviews, I shall examine each region guide in order. The format of each is the same; there is no artwork, simply a title page with a one-column introduction to the area, then several pages of double-column information, some pages with sidebars. The text is clear and editing, for the most part, is average for the RPG industry; most region guides have a few typos here and there, but nothing too bad. As such, the Style points for each review will be the same unless there is something especially pronounced in a particular region guide.

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Flames

Trevor Munson’s Angel of Vengeance

Posted on February 18, 2011 by

Titan Books presents Angel of Vengeance, the original never-before-released novel that inspired the vampire TV series “Moonlight.”

Written by Trevor Munson, the co-creator, writer and producer of “Moonlight” (the CBS series which attracted 7 million viewers and still retains a loyal, devoted fan base and cult following), Angel of Vengeance offers a new twist on the classic Dracula vampire tale and blends it with Raymond Chandler’s hardboiled P.I. detective fiction.

Angel of Vengeance: L.A.-based P.I. and vampire Mick Angel has been hired by a beautiful red-headed burlesque dancer to find her missing sister. The apparently simple case of a teenage runaway is soon complicated by drug dealers, persistent cops, murder, and Mick’s own past. Mick must learn the hard way what every vampire should know – nothing stays buried forever, especially not the past.

Flames Rising is pleased to present an exclusive design essay from author Trveor Munson. Trevor tells us about the creative process as well as the challenges of in redefining vampire lore for this book.

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Mage Chronicler’s Guide RPG Review

Posted on February 18, 2011 by

The traditional print run of Mage: the Awakening ends with my favorite kind of supplement–the advice book. Although gaming advice is merely a click away today, some of the first useful gaming advice I gleaned came from the original White Wolf lines. Rather than rehash decades old thoughts on gaming, the focus instead turns to new ground. This book tweaks the core principles–setting, magic mechanics, and character–before setting loose some ideas on actual Mage chronicles. I’ll try to go chapter-by-chapter once I get the artwork out of the way. Before I do, one pointer: there is never a reason to quote Ayn Rand. Ever. Seriously.

For me, the book’s artwork isn’t very special. I do like the cover art by Imaginary Friends Studio; however, the interior art wasn’t engaging. It did tie directly to the fiction, which earned it a step up.

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alanajoli

Witchblade: Origins Volume One Review

Posted on February 17, 2011 by

Back in the mid-1990s, Top Cow launched a daring new series about an artifact that could be wielded only by women — and the man who tried to take possession of it. In Witchblade: Origin, the first eight issues of Witchblade are brought to an audience who missed them the first time around. It’s a great origin story: Sara Pezzini, the tough cop who becomes the bearer of the Wicthblade, is far more vulnerable here than we see her at the current point in the series. She’s largely alone in the world: she has an irresponsible sister, a neighbor whose murder leaves her with a teen girl seeking her advice, and a partner who dies in the first issue. Her parents have been dead for some time, but she still thinks of them, often, talking to them in the box text. While she knows she has her boss — who is much like a father to her — and coworkers who care about her, she hesitates to share herself with them, especially when she is feeling weak.

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Autumn: The City Review

Posted on February 15, 2011 by

I woke up today without any power which is a large part of the reason as to why this review is a day behind. Not that you needed to know that little fact, or really even, not that my day to day is all that relevant to the review itself. We are living in the 24/7 digital world here, so it shouldn’t matter when I do the reviews, right?

No, wrong. This was the perfect setting to nearly blow all my battery power and candles on writing a review. Especially a review of Survival Horror/ Zombie Apocalypse superstar writer David Moody’s latest book in the autumn series by Thomas Dunne St Martin’s Griffin press. In fact it was probably the most perfect setting to write the review in. Picture it.

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Flames

Preview of Never Knew Another by J M McDermott

Posted on February 14, 2011 by

Fugitive Rachel Nolander is a newcomer to the city of Dogsland, where the rich throw parties and the poor just do whatever they can to scrape by. Supported by her brother Djoss, she hides out in their squalid apartment, living in fear that someday, someone will find out that she is the child of a demon. Corporal Jona Lord Joni is a demon’s child too, but instead of living in fear, he keeps his secret and goes about his life as a cocky, self-assured man of the law. The first book in the Dogsland Trilogy, Never Knew Another is the story of how these two outcasts meet.

Flames Rising is pleased to present this excerpt from Never Knew Another by J. M. McDermott. Never Knew Another is available now at Amazon.com.

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Hellfrost Gazetteer RPG Review

Posted on February 14, 2011 by

This is the third in a series of three reviews looking at the core books for Hellfrost, a setting by Triple Ace Games for the Savage Worlds system. In this review, I will examine the Gazetteer, the third of these three books.

This is my favorite of the three core Hellfrost books, as it can easily be used for any system, not just Savage Worlds. In many ways, it’s not so much an introduction to the regions of Hellfrost, as more of a GM’s Guide to Hellfrost, since it contains some information which might spoil the setting for players. The book is split into three sections, a short Introduction, the lengthy Lands of Rassilon, and the concluding Evil Organisations. The artwork is of the same style as the other two core HF books, and like the other books, contains occasional sidebars throughout that add cultural or historical detail. There is no system information in this book; it is entirely background information for the Hellfrost setting.

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Megan

Kobold Quarterly 16 Review

Posted on February 11, 2011 by

The Editorial opens with the promise of a great treat: Wolfgang Baur’s own home campaign is to be written up for publication! Apparently Kobeck is part of it, but the rest of the setting is now to be subject to the Open Design process and brought into the light of day. Wolfgang’s words show his excitement… now I’m looking forward to it as well.

And so to the first article, Ecology of the Gearforged. They started off as an act of desperation, Kobeck’s craftsmen and wizards collaborating to create something, anything to stave off the House Stross forces during the rebellion that saw Kobeck free – but they have matured to more than mere war machines.

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The Black Seal (Issues 1-3) Review

Posted on February 10, 2011 by

This collection of issues, originally released between 2001 and 2004, showcase a variety of Cthulhu goodness, especially for those interested in modern horror. One of the organizations from the Delta Green line, the British occult organization PISCES, takes the spotlight. Since the material within the magazines are basically alike, I’ll tackle the trio together.

The artwork in the magazines comes from a collection of artists and are rather fitting for the Cthulhu Mythos. The first issue has a small amount of artwork (nearly non-existent if not for the well-crafted cartography within it). By the third issue, artwork fills nearly every page and yet doesn’t get in the way of the writing.

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Flames

Black Swan Movie Review

Posted on February 9, 2011 by

It’s a wonderful time to be alive, at least until the Mayan calendar runs out next year and the sun goes dark. The year is 2011, the internet rules, I have a magic box in my pocket that can access the
sum total of human knowledge, and a balletsploitation were-swan horror flick is a serious contender for five Academy Awards.

Part of the buzz about Black Swan is purely technical: in this film, Natalie Portman realizes the promise she showed way back in Leon (or The Professional, depending on your country of origin). As of Black Swan, she is one of the greatest actresses of our generation.

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alanajoli

A Brush of Darkness Review

Posted on February 8, 2011 by

Not long ago, I signed up for a very cool program with Simon & Schuster called “galley grab,” which allows participants to read e-book galleys in full for a limited amount of time. I’ve loaded up several titles on my nook and am trying to get through them before my time runs out!

One of my first priorities on the list was A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang, which I’d seen previews for over at Pocket After Dark. There are all sorts of marketing sayings about how many times you have to see something before it sticks, or if you touch something some large number of times, you’ll buy it.

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Flames

Trail of Cthulhu: The Big Hoodoo

Posted on February 8, 2011 by

The stories of rocketships and rayguns you read under cover of dark are coming to life before your eyes. Will you become a victim of Parsons’ ‘Big Hoodoo’?

The Big Hoodoo is Lovecraftian noir in 1950s California with a ripped-from-history plot centered on the explosive death of real-world rocket scientist, science fiction fan, and occultist Jack Parsons in a garage laboratory in 1952. The investigators are iconic figures active in the science fiction scene at the time of Parsons’ death, and their inquiries lead them from the mean streets of Pasadena to the edge of the Mojave Desert and the mountains of southern California as well as the beaches of Los Angeles.

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alanajoli

Tracker Volume One Review

Posted on February 7, 2011 by

I had a couple of sneak peeks at this volume of Tracker as the issues were being released, and I have to say it’s really nice to see it all together in one volume. The Issue 0 preview and Issue 4 just whet my appetite for what looked like a great werewolf story. As it turns out, the story is exactly what those bits and pieces promised.

Alex O’Rourke is one of the best trackers in the FBI — he’s so good that his instincts are the only thing helping the FBI track down Herod, a serial killer whose vicious attacks look more animal than human. Alex gets into the middle of an attack, following a hunch that Herod will be there, and miraculously survives, recovering on the autopsy table.

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Zombacalypse (Savage Worlds) RPG Review

Posted on February 4, 2011 by

You can go many ways with a zombie. Desperate horror is just as likely as Romantic comedy anymore. They are seriously everywhere, which is probably why they are such a threat.

I’m not going to overanalyze them. People much smarter than me have already done that. What I will do is say I ran a super hero zombie one-shot for some friends once and enjoyed the Hell out of it. I also played a convention game where zombies were the main attraction (liked that too). For the most part (and this isn’t fair really), zombie games have a one-shot feel to them. Some games like Zombie Run (an excellent Savage Worlds adventure) and the zillion plus supplements for All Flesh Must Be Eaten suggest ways to make longer campaigns, but I always felt like zombie games were filler (like a blockbuster summer flick) than a campaign (like Walking Dead). I’m hardheaded and wrong, which this book quickly points out.

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