Archive | May, 2011

Cthonian Stars RPG Review

Posted on May 31, 2011 by

The premise of Cthonian Stars is really quite simple, we are not alone in the universe. Even though we manage to overcome our current, and rather ignorant, age to reach out into our Solar System humanity will still be in its infancy when compared to what we may find. In the near future world of Cthonian Stars humans have settled into almost every corner of our Solar System. Colonies exist on Mercury to Pluto and every moon in between. Humans have come together in peaceful cooperation for our mutual benefit, yet the distances between the various colonies still has a stifling and isolating effect. Travel is not an instantaneous effect, but takes time and is dangerous.

The influences that sparked Cthonian Stars were ones that I was not only already familiar with but also a fan of. They listed movies such as Event Horizon, Pandorum, and Outland to help capture the ‘feel’ of the game.

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Hellboy: Being Human Review

Posted on May 30, 2011 by

“A horrible witch and her zombie servant host a dinner party for a family of corpses, and Hellboy and Roger turn up to blast them all back to hell in this team-up story from Roger’s early days at the B.P.R.D.”

This is Richard Corben? Really? Wow so different from what I am used to, yet I still love it. This book has the typical Hellboy visuals done right. Mostly I base that on the flat color style. The action scenes were a lot of fun here and the character designs stayed solid all the way through. Overall a great looking Hellboy comic.

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Flames

New Dungeons & Dragons Board Game: Conquest of Nerath!

Posted on May 28, 2011 by

Wizards of the Coast today announced the forthcoming launch of its new, highly anticipated Dungeons & Dragons board game, Conquest of Nerath, set for retail release on June 21, 2011. The Conquest of Nerath board game provides exciting game play for strategy gamers interested in exploring the world of Dungeons & Dragons while offering current RPG players a whole new way to experience D&D. Conquest of Nerath is the third major D&D board game to be released following Castle of Ravenloft and Wrath of Ashardalon.

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Dark Harvest RPG Review

Posted on May 27, 2011 by

Dark Harvest is an alternative setting (compatible with Victoria) from Cubicle Seven. In this pseudo-historic twist, Dr. Frankenstein establishes a seat of political and military power in the country of Promethea. This power base permits him to explore stranger scientific pursuits and achieve dangerous heights of hubris. Of course, things are far from well behind the curtain and PCs will most likely take part in the factions attempting to topple the status quo.

The artwork, layout, and cartography in Dark Harvest has several more hits than misses. The art itself is great as is the cartography. The book proves to be a bit dull visually. There is a great deal of information in this book (information about the various areas of the country, the history, key figures, and much more). The point in mentioning this is that the information gets a bit textbook without more interesting breaks in the writing.

In regards to the rich writing, few facets of day-to-day life were left unexamined. History, educational systems, religious structures, gender roles, and a wealth of other topics were laid out in an approachable manner.

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Flames

Have a Fang-Filled Day: 114th Anniversary of Dracula

Posted on May 26, 2011 by

To celebrate the 114th anniversary of the publication of Dracula, we here at FlamesRising.com would like to recommend your day is filled with blood and fangs. Over the years, we’ve offered reviews, interviews and recommendations of several vampire-related stories, comics and games. Today, we’d like to share with you a couple of new recommendations as well as a few from our archives either directly inspired by or based upon Dracula himself.

For starters, Top Cow has a comics series called Impaler, which is a re-imagining of the vampire tale. If non-fiction is more your thing, we recommend checking out Actual Factual: Dracula, which is a great resource for anyone who needs a compendium of reference material on the topic.

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Flames

Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale is now available!

Posted on May 25, 2011 by

The original standard for fantasy roleplaying is taking another step in its storied pop culture history as the Dalelands of the Forgotten Realms is brought to life for gamers and fantasy enthusiasts across the world. Atari, one of the world’s most recognized publishers and producers of interactive entertainment and Bedlam Games announced today the release of the highly anticipated Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale on Xbox LIVE Arcade for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC.

Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale, a hack and slash action role playing game set in the deep mythology of the Forgotten Realms, is the first Dungeons & Dragons video game for connected consoles. Players are summoned by a mysterious mage and given the duty of defending their homeland as Rezlus, an evil Zhentarim Cleric looks to bring the power of the Black Lord Bane to Daggerdale. Restore order to the Dalelands by unlocking the secrets of the Mines of Tethyamar, defeating the evil within the treacherous Tower of the Void, leading to the final confrontation with Rezlus himself.

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100 Horror Adventure Seeds Review

Posted on May 25, 2011 by


100 Horror Adventure Seeds is not a ponderous tome of highly drawn out and detailed adventures that focus on the things that go bump in the night. In this collection the ideas that James sets down are designed to trigger the imagination, not to stifle it. He starts off, quite early in the book, with the trials and pitfalls of horror gaming in general and moves on to the relative usefulness of a more structured module. It quickly becomes apparent that James is not a fan of the structured module. He does admit that they are good introductions for a new Game Master to a system, but eventually these will hinder a Game Master due to their lack of GM creativity.

James then describes why a more traditional module format tends to fail, and the main reason is quite simply the players. A player tends to have this nasty tendency to think for themselves and to have reactions that are not completely scripted. It is true that a Game Master can nudge and coddle a group back onto the modules path, but then that strips the players of their freedoms. With this collection, I believe James sets troubled Game Masters down the correct path where the plot is highly fluid and adaptable.

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Flames

Delta Green: Two Tickets, Please

Posted on May 23, 2011 by

Born of the U.S. government’s 1928 raid on the degenerate coastal town of Innsmouth, Massachusetts, the covert agency known as Delta Green spent four decades opposing the forces of darkness with honor, but without glory. Stripped of sanction after a disastrous 1969 operation in Cambodia, Delta Green’s leaders made a secret pact: to continue their work without authority, without support, and without fear. Delta Green agents slip through the system, manipulating the federal bureaucracy while pushing the darkness back for another day-but often at a shattering personal cost.

Ten years ago, everything changed. It’s time you found out how.

It’s January 2001. The Delta Green agents code-named Cyrus and Charlie get the call: A young boy dead and buried for years has reappeared, healthy and happy, as if no time at all had passed and the disease that killed him had never been. The family thinks it’s a miracle, but Delta Green has seen too many miracles turn to madness. Cyrus and Charlie must discover what horrors lurk behind this one. The mission brings them to the brink of apocalypse-to the edge of the revelation and destruction of Delta Green-to secrets and terrors at the heart of reality itself.

Delta Green: Through a Glass, Darkly is a new novel written by Delta Green co-creator Dennis Detwiller. The book is finished. It’s been reviewed, revised and edited. Now Arc Dream Publishing is holding a Kickstarter project to raise the funds to publish it.

Flames Rising posted an earlier excerpt from Delta Green: Through a Glass, Darkly on April 30, 2011.

Here’s another glimpse.

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Scenes from the Second Storey Review

Posted on May 23, 2011 by

Each story in this anthology was based on a particular song by the band God’s Machine, and in particular the album Scenes from the Second Storey. Being utterly unfamiliar with either I was at a loss to see how each work coincided with it’s assigned song. I simply read each story as it was presented.

My interest was heightened when I discovered that the writers were either from Australia, or near that region. As I read I picked up subtle differences between ‘American’ writing and that of their homeland, I am sure this affected my expectations within each tale and my eventual opinion. I delighted in this look at another part of the world and how they write and construct a story. Several of these authors interested me enough that I wrote their names down for my next visit to a bookstore; though it appears that most do short stories I hope to find their other works.

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Flames

Apocalypse World RPG Review

Posted on May 20, 2011 by

While at PAX East this year, I had the pleasure of sitting in on a panel on developing independent RPGs. Vincent Baker was among the panelists, and I was incredibly excited to see the man who had created the well-known and critically acclaimed Dogs in the Vineyard. Immediately after the panel I went to his booth and saw that he had another game for sale, Apocalypse World. Its cover, featuring a nude, ambiguous form in a gas mask, haunched over and lit from behind, intrigued me– I had just finished my thesis on Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and was on an apocalypse kick, so although I had gone to the booth expecting to pick up DitV, I came away with a game I hadn’t even heard of before.

With Apocalypse World I didn’t really know what to expect. I admit, I don’t have very many systems under my belt– I’ve read far more games than I’ve actually played, and I don’t like to pass judgment on a system without actually playing it. But just from the get-go, Apocalypse World had a lot going for it.

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Flames

Relativity, Archaia and Fandango Team Up For Immortals Promotion

Posted on May 20, 2011 by

Do you have what it takes to be a Greek God or Goddess? If so, then Relativity Media – the studio behind the visually spectacular 3D action adventure Immortals – wants you to sign up right away! Exclusively offered via Facebook today, the Relativity-Archaia Immortals promotion sponsored by Fandango, the nation’s leading moviegoer destination, will crown the winners on July 1 with a king’s ransom-worth of prizes, including a grand prize where contest winners will be immortalized as graphic novel characters with the “reveal” taking place at the Archaia panel during Comic-Con in a special photo-op ceremony. Winners will also receive an all-expenses-paid trip to San Diego to attend the 2011 Comic-Con International. The package includes airfare, hotel accommodations, and exclusive access to special Immortals events throughout the convention.

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Flames

Tell Us About Your Character at RPGNow!

Posted on May 19, 2011 by

RPGNow is having a huge contest going on now. Special judges include Fred Hicks, Eddy Ebb and John Wick!

You could win a ViewSonic gTablet, Gift Certificates to RPGNow and more!

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Monica Valentinelli

Eternal Lies Suite Music Review

Posted on May 18, 2011 by

Eternal Lies Suite | Music for Trail of CthulhuTo enhance your gaming experience for an upcoming Trail of Cthulhu campaign called Eternal Lies, Pelgrane Press has published a collection of songs you can play in the background on a never-ending loop. For this hour-long selection, several composers collaborated with Will Hindmarch and Jeff Tidball to create the atmospheric tracks.

The purpose of the Eternal Lies Suite is to enhance your mood as you play through this campaign. Since Eternal Lies isn’t out yet, we can glean some insight as to the scope of this story — it’s a global adventure that may include two characters named Edgar Job and Henslowe.

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Megan

30 Haunts for Houses (Pathfinder) Review

Posted on May 17, 2011 by

Taking a new tack for Rite Publishing’s “30” series, this work looks not at items that you might find but a specific type of threat that you might encounter – the haunt. Indeed, not just any old haunts but those which have, for whatever reason, chosen to manifest in a house.

The product opens with an overview of haunts, which were introduced in Paizo’s GameMastery Guide – if you intend to make extensive use of haunts you may find a copy useful. Basically, haunts can develop in a location in which living creatures suffered in some way, and can be accompanied by undead. Despite having hit points and assorted capabilities, they can be thought of more as an atmosphere, an area in which effects are caused, than as actual beings in their own right. (I’m sure learned clerics and mages could argue for hours over that one!). They can only be removed from their location by performance of specific acts, based on the reasons why the haunt is there in the first place, although they can be damaged or negated such that they go away… but only for a while, they’ll manifest again later.

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David Hill Jr tells us about The Forsaken Chronicler’s Guide

Posted on May 16, 2011 by

We have a new design essay from David Hill Jr. In this essay David tells us about developing the Forsaken Chronicler’s Guide, which is the latest supplement for the Werewolf: the Forsaken RPG from White Wolf.

We’re coming up on the release of the fourth volume of Forsaken Chronicler’s Guide, so I thought I’d give a bit of insight into the development process for this particular project.

A couple of years ago, I pitched the idea of a Chronicler’s Guide for Werewolf: the Forsaken to Eddy Webb. I knew Forsaken was a bit more of a niche game, so the Alternative Publishing model might fit a bit better than a traditional, full release.

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Little Fears: Nightmare Edition RPG Review

Posted on May 16, 2011 by

From the first few times that I heard of this game I was drawn to it. “A game where you take on the persona of a child?” I thought, “Now that would be rather interesting..”. Sadly, those first few chances I had to play were missed out on due to running my own or participating in other games. It enticed me enough that I kept an eye open for any chance to sit down at a session. Finally, the day came when I did play and my patience was well rewarded. I have attempted to run demo’s at a few conventions, without much luck due to the fact that I feel Little Fears is a difficult game to describe to others in only a few short words. My patience will one day be rewarded I am sure. I have played for many years and I have introduced many gamers to new games, but there have been very few where I have tried to push a book into someone’s hands telling, “You have to play this.”

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The Last Zombie 5 Comic Review

Posted on May 13, 2011 by

“Ian and his team find themselves under attack from a roving army of marauders. Now they must fight to the death to protect not only their mission, but a small group of civilians who, against all odds, have survived the zombie apocalypse. But even if they defeat the attackers, will the victory come too late, given Ian’s fateful prognosis?”

Have you taken a second, sat down and looked at the way Joe Wight draws an issue of The Last Zombie yet? I am guessing if your reading this you probably haven’t so lets start simple. PICK UP THIS BOOK! Not that the art is the only thing going for it, but this issue is full of action, death and fire.

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Hiram Grange and the Chosen One Review

Posted on May 12, 2011 by

Hiram Grange is a bizarro-world James Bond. So far described as an “extremely ugly” man with “piercing blue eyes and a hawkish nose,” a man that nevertheless “moves with a deadly grace,” Grange can give picture-perfect, shaken-not-stirred Bond a run for his money. Hiram has a way with the ladies and has repeatedly saved the world, despite his predilection for alcohol (particularly absinthe, though Bushmills Irish Whiskey plays a large role in Chosen One). Oh, and he also has an unhealthy obsession with Jodie Foster.

In Chosen One, Kevin Lucia brings to light a different side of Hiram, one less encumbered by his vices and more concerned about saving the girl and the world.

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Flames

Preview of Delta Green: Intelligences

Posted on May 10, 2011 by

Delta Green: Intelligences is a new short story by Dennis Detwiller in the award-winning Delta Green setting.

Dennis’ company Arc Dream Publishing is holding a fundraiser for a new Delta Green novel, Through a Glass, Darkly. As the fundraiser hits milestones towards its goal, Arc Dream will release all-new Delta Green short stories to go along with it — starting with "Intelligences."

Here’s an excerpt.

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Flames

Author Guy Hasson Discusses Why He Writes About Women

Posted on May 9, 2011 by

Secret Thoughts | Guy Hasson | Apex Book CompanyOn the heels of his new release from Apex Book Company, the multi-talented Guy Hasson drops by FlamesRising.com to tell us why he writes about women. This particular essay gives us insight into his intent behind writing three, distinct novellas and collecting them into a single collection called “Secret Thoughts.” For more about this author, playwright and filmmaker, be sure to visit Guy Hasson’s website. If you’re interested in checking out Hasson’s new release, you can pick up the Secret Thoughts e-book at DriveThruSciFi.com, or visit the publisher’s website for previews, reviews, additional formats and more!

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11 Tales of Ghostly Horror

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