Archive | July, 2011

Flames

Little Fears (10th Anniversary Edition) Available Now!

Posted on July 30, 2011 by

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LITTLE FEARS!

Remember when you were young and you were afraid of all those things that went bump in the night?

Ever wonder where they went?

Well, wonder no more because the old monsters are back!

Featuring the classic rules and setting of the original game, this tenth anniversary edition includes alternate mechanics, author commentary, all-new artwork, and the original online-only supplements—in print for the first time ever!

Little Fears (10th Anniversary Edition) is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

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Flames

Sneak Peek at Zombie Chibithulhu, Munchkin Axe Cop, Munchkin Conan and more!

Posted on July 29, 2011 by

Zombie ChibithulhuThis preview and the images were provided with permission from the publisher as part of FlamesRising.com’s continuing coverage of Steve Jackson Games Week. Today, you’ll find images of upcoming Munchkin Games including Munchkin: Axe Cop, Munchkin Zombies 2, Munchin: Conan and a few other Cthulhu-related treats.

From Steve Jackson Games to our dice bags, there will be an attractive plethora of custom and jumbo die this Fall for Cthulhu Dice, Fairy Dust and Munchkin Jolly. One color in particular stood out in our minds. We regard it as watered down red, but you’ll probably look at it and go… Pink? Pink Cthulhu Dice? With SPARKLES? It’s almost as if they know we’ll lose sanity just by picking one of them up. Well, if that doesn’t cause you to go a little insane, the giant foam Cthulhu Dice (pictured above) probably will. Instead of marbles? Think Silly Bandz in the shape of Cthulhu. Oh. My.

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SJGames Week: GURPS Monster Hunters Review

Posted on July 29, 2011 by

Monsters: can’t live with them, and . . . well, it seems like there’s days where you’re spending all your time killing them. Particularly when it comes to horror gaming. If you’re not out staking vampires, you’re blasting zombies or shotgunning werewolves.

There are many table top RPGs that dip their toe into the horror genre with great aplomb. And when it comes to “regular people” (AKA Player Characters) taking up arms and blasting apart things that go bump in the night, three or four titles instantly come to mind. And one of those titles is GURPS–as if you didn’t know.

For the uninitiated, GURPS stands for “Generic Universal Role Playing System”, which is a fancy way of saying, if you can dream it up, you can play it using GURPS. First published in 1986, it came out at a time when nearly all RPG systems were tailored to a particular genre.

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Flames

SJGames Week: Kenneth Hite talks about GURPS Horror 4th Edition

Posted on July 28, 2011 by

FlamesRising.com is pleased to present you with a peek inside GURPS Horror 4th Edition from its author, Kenneth Hite. For those of you familiar with his work, you might suspect Kenneth Hite is no stranger to writing about all things dark and terrifying. In this essay, Ken talks about the additions and influences he infused into the new edition.

A New Millennium Of Horror, And Of GURPS Horror

I started writing the Third Edition of GURPS Horror in very late 2000, right about the time that Final Destination, Scream 3, and Urban Legend: The Final Cut were finishing off (with one or another degree of skill and chill) the horror boom of the 1990s. No, wait, I lie. I actually started writing the Third Edition of GURPS Horror in 1998, only I called it Nightmares of Mine at the time, and I was writing it for Iron Crown Enterprises. So I began writing it during the Indian summer of clever, self-referential horror: The Faculty, Fallen, and Gods and Monsters were all part of that horror year. By the time I finished it, Iron Crown had gone bankrupt, and I had folded pretty much the entirety of the horror-gaming advice from Nightmares of Mine into GURPS Horror, Third Edition.

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Billzilla

SJGames Week: Zombie Dice Review

Posted on July 28, 2011 by

Steve Jackson has dominated the games industry lately with a seemingly endless supply of Munchkin-related games, accessories and knick-knacks. Just to prove there’s more going on at Jackson Labs than Munchkin, Steve Jackson Games released Zombie Dice last year to great acclaim. That acclaim is well-earned: Zombie Dice is fast, fun and addictive, and it’s cheap to boot.

Zombie Dice includes 13 dice, instructions, and a dice shaker/storage container in the package. The instructions are very simple: you (as the zombie) roll three dice at a time, and pick them out of the cup without looking at them. If a brain logo comes up, hooray! – you’ve successfully eaten some brains; set those aside.

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Flames

SJGames Week: Interview with Munchkin Illustrator John Kovalic

Posted on July 27, 2011 by

Kill the Monster – Steal the Treasure – Stab Your Buddy

To celebrate the Munchkin 10 Year anniversary, FlamesRising.com asked John Kovalic, the main illustrator for this collectible card game, to open up the floor to questions from his fans for this interview. Every question you read here was asked by a fan on John Kovalic’s Facebook page.

In his own words, find out how John works on Munchkin with Steve Jackson Games, what some of his memorable experiences are, and more.

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Matt-M-McElroy

SJGames Week: Awful Green Things From Outer Space Review

Posted on July 27, 2011 by

The crew of the exploration ship Znutar just wanted to cruise around the Galaxy, discovering strange new worlds and playing pool. But then their ship was invaded by the Awful Green Things . . . and suddenly they were fighting for their lives!

I recently had the chance to try this game. Amazingly, I had never even demoed the Awful Green Things From Outer Space before. I’d seen it sitting on the shelves of the local game store before and thought it looked like fun. Naturally, I played the role of the alien monsters the first time out, but both sides are just as fun in the end.

Before game play can begin, there’s a little set up involved in this primarily two-player (or two teams) game. First, the Znutar crew has to be placed into different locations on the ship. Then, players need to resolve the starting locations for the Awful Green Things, weapons, etc. Once you’ve played a few times, the set up will go fairly quickly. It took us about five or ten minutes to set up the game the first time we played.

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Flames

SJ Games Week: GURPS Worlds of Horror Preview

Posted on July 26, 2011 by

FlamesRising.com is thrilled to present you with an exclusive preview from Steve Jackson Games as part of our publisher theme week. Today, we take a peek at the upcoming GURPS Infinite Worlds: World of Horror supplement that offers new settings to bring terror to your gaming table.

GURPS Infinite Worlds: Worlds of Horror will detail six alternate Earths where history has taken a turn for the terrifying. Designed as being light on rules and heavy on atmosphere, Worlds of Horror should prove fascinating for anyone who wonders what might have been . . . more horrific. This preview material has been taken from one of those worlds, called Taft-1. The year is 1962, and Stalin still lives. And he has worse allies than Hitler.

For anyone hoping to visit Taft-1, a ***Spoiler Alert*** is in effect for this whole preview.

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SJGames Week: GURPS Horror 4th Edition Review

Posted on July 26, 2011 by

Luckily, I have had the pleasure of meeting Kenneth Hite, albeit briefly and in passing, at a convention only a short time ago. He was engaging, intelligent, and knowledgeable about things most people find horrific with a particularly keen interest in Lovecraft. I could think of few other game designers and authors better suited to write a game of horror. Even though I found myself quite daunted at the thought of reviewing a Steve Jackson Games product, I was not disappointed and from the first few lines my attention was transfixed while my mind whirled with the possibilities of my own fear-filled campaigns.

GURPS Horror, which I will simply shorten to G:H, begins with a history of the game, a small dose of the authors quite note-worthy credentials, and a short piece on what exactly ‘horror’ and horror role-playing is. After a brief explanation on why players need to remain mindful of their fears, G:H jumps into character creation. Going beyond simple numbers or hastily jotted notes, Hite actually seems to endorse players giving quite a bit of thought about their characters backgrounds.

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Flames

SJGames Week: Interview with Steve Jackson

Posted on July 25, 2011 by

As part of our continuing coverage for Steve Jackson Games Week, FlamesRising.com is happy to offer you an interview with the President of Steve Jackson Games, Steve Jackson himself. Today, Steve shares his thoughts on game design, his company and his secret role with the Illuminati.

How long has Steve Jackson Games been in business?

More than 30 years now. Before that, starting in 1976, I was a regular freelancer for Metagaming. Before that I was gaming a lot but not professionally.

If you had to pick just one, what’s your favorite game?

I don’t have to pick just one! *smiles* I like lots and lots of games, which is one reason I have been doing this for so long.

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Flames

SJ Games Week and Munchkin 10 Year Anniversary Contest

Posted on July 25, 2011 by

FlamesRising.com is excited to announce that all this week we are featuring exclusive previews, essays, reviews and more from Steve Jackson Games.

SJ Games Week begins today and ends on Friday, July 29th, 2011.

In addition to its selection of GURPS hobby games, Steve Jackson Games publishes dice, card and board games, too. Titles like Munchkin are heavily inspired by geek culture and often have a comedic tone. In the past, we have offered some coverage by offering a Munchkin Zombies preview, The Stars Are Right review, Munchkin Cthulhu review, Cthulhu Dice review and a Munchkin Bites 2: Pants Macabre review.

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alanajoli

Surely You Joust!

Posted on July 24, 2011 by

After a post the other day on Google+, Monica poked me about letting Flames Rising readers know what I’ve been up to while I’m not writing for Flames Rising.

Most of my writing recently has been for Branford Patch, a local online news site, where I do a regular history column about the early days of Branford, Connecticut. It’s great fun, but not typically a cross-over into horror (although perhaps I’ll track down a ghost story one of these days!).

This past week, however, I had my very first Dragon magazine article published!

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Monica Valentinelli

Pre-GenCon Sale on Dice Goblin Bags

Posted on July 23, 2011 by

Dice Goblin dice bagSome girls prefer diamonds and roses, but I get more out of things that I can either use or collect. Enter the Dice Goblin dice bags from an independent artist. Handmade and sturdy, I often get compliments on mine.

Available in the U.S. and internationally, the Dice Goblin dice bags are twenty-percent off through Saturday, July 30th.

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Flames

Grave Peril (Dresden Files Book 3) Review

Posted on July 22, 2011 by

Again, I am trying not to spoil too much. But some things have to be said.

Grave Peril starts with a new character. Michael Carpenter, Knight of the Cross. For some reason the ghosts of Chicago have been going crazy for the last few weeks, and Harry and Michael have been running all over the place trying stop them. Michael is a great addition to this serious, because he brings a character that faith driven. Oh, and he has the holy sword Amoracchius, which was created by one of the nails that was used to crucify Jesus. Awesome.

Combined with plots dealing with Harry’s fairy godmother (Leanansidhe of the Winter Court of Fae), and ramifications of his actions in Storm Front with a Red Court Vampire named Bianca…this is the book that starts to move the serious toward being a great one. Harry and Murphy’s relationship was better after Fool Moon. Still not great, but better. Even to the point where with a few other CPD members, they took down a seriously twisted sorcerer named Leonid Kravos. So things are better.

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Monica Valentinelli

Geek’s Dream Girl, Dork Tower and Other Odds-n-Ends

Posted on July 21, 2011 by

Well, it’s been a little while since I’ve dropped in to talk about what I’ve been up to, so I thought I’d write about some of the exciting things that are happening behind-the-scenes. In this update, I talk about Geek’s Dream Girl, John Kovalic, The Creepy Cottontail and my helping out at the DriveThruRPG/ White Wolf booth at GenCon: Indy.

In July, my first article geared toward freelancers debuted on a site called Geek’s Dream Girl. My new column is written to help new writers move from commoner to freelancer and offers some “mechanics” to help you do that. Dubbed Calling all Freelancers: Adventure to Dice Castle, it’ll provide a different take on the topic and will appear once-a-month.

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Flames

Exploring the Mythos Academy with Jennifer Estep

Posted on July 21, 2011 by

Our design essay series continues with a new essay from Jennifer Estep. Jennifer is the author of the Mythos Academy series (check out Alana’s recent review of Touch of Frost).

Greetings and salutations! First of all, I want to thank the folks at Flames Rising for having me on the blog today. Thanks so much, guys!

Today I was asked to talk a little about the creative process behind Touch of Frost and the rest of my Mythos Academy young adult series. The series focuses on Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old Gypsy girl who has the gift of psychometry, or the ability to know an object’s history just by touching it. After a serious freak-out with her magic, Gwen is shipped off to Mythos Academy, a school for the descendants of ancient warriors like Spar tans, Valkyries, Amazons, and more.

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Flames

World of Darkness: Glimpses of the Unknown

Posted on July 20, 2011 by

The world is a dark and dangerous place.

It is filled with enigmas that do not fit neatly into boxes built by scientists or occultists. That doesn’t stop us from trying to find an explanation for everything. It is human nature to compartmentalize, to label and identify the things that frighten them – a thing named is a thing neutered. But some things refuse to be categorized neatly. Some mysteries evade explanation. Some monsters reject the classifications we attempt to brand them with. These are the seeds of fear and wonder, the exceptions whose only proven rule is that there are no rules that cannot be broken. These are the unexpected plots, the stories which pull player and character alike into situations where their wits, skills and strengths will be challenged.

These are glimpses into the true potential of the World of Darkness.

Glimpses of the Unknown is available now at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

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Monica Valentinelli

Shadow Chase Fiction Review

Posted on July 20, 2011 by

Shadow Chase is an urban fantasy novel written by Seressia Glass. While this book follows the events of Shadow Blade in the author’s series, I felt the story — which dives deep into Egyptian mythology — stands on its own.

Glass writes believable characters that we can all relate to by focusing on their internal struggles. I really liked reading about the emotional impact of the “things gone wrong.” When someone dies? We feel it. When Kira, the main character, makes a mistake? We experience her guilt. By focusing on what makes these characters human, in spite of their supernatural powers, I feel the author takes some risks because we don’t always see the “cost” of magic in our world. However, these risks are what makes the story and its characters more believable, because those emotions help us identify with them — regardless of their ethnic or cultural background.

Kira Solomon is a Shadowchaser. Although she’s human, she serves the Light and dispatches the Fallen. Although a lot of the worldbuilding was inspired by Egyptian mythology, the battle between good and evil takes center stage.

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alanajoli

The Snow Queen’s Shadow Fiction Review

Posted on July 19, 2011 by

How do I start a review of the final book in a series that I love, which had me sobbing for about three chapters of the conclusion? As it turns out, by avoiding the issue:

I feel sorry for Prince Armand.

There, I said it. Three kick-butt heroines of the whole series and this review starts off with some compassion for the guy who is always first in line to get cursed, kidnapped, and just generally gets the short end of the deal. In a series about princesses who don’t need to be rescued, someone else has to be — and once again, nice-guy prince Armand (who seems reasonably capable) suffers some of the very first consequences to evil becoming a threat in the kingdom of Lorindar.

This time, the threat starts close to home, with Snow White, who has been set up for this kind of fall from the beginning of the series, overstretches her magical abilities and ends up releasing a demon from her mother’s magic mirror. Worse, the demon corrupts Snow herself, meaning that our three heroines are no longer on the same team.

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Billzilla

Talking About the Dead (and Undead) with James Lowder

Posted on July 18, 2011 by

James Lowder has been active as a writer and editor sine the 1980s, most famous perhaps for authoring the novel Knight of the Black Rose for TSR, and for editing the All Flesh Must Be Eaten fiction anthologies Book of All Flesh, Book of More Flesh and Book of Final Flesh. More recently, he edited the essay collection Family Games: The 100 Best, and fiction anthologies Curse of the Full Moon and The Best of All Flesh.

I chatted recently with Jim via email about some of his most recently completed projects: Triumph of The Walking Dead – a collection of essays on the longrunning comics series and AMC network’s successful TV series – and Silent Knife and Strangeness in the Proportion, two novels from White Wolf publishing currently being serialized on the White Wolf web site and awaiting print publication.

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