Archive | October, 2011

Steven Dawes

Trick ‘r Treat Movie Review

Posted on October 31, 2011 by

I had no idea what I was in for a year ago when I rented “Trick ‘r Treat” on Netflix. I‘d hear nothing about this film from anyone, but I read on the Netflix site that it starred Anna Paquin, Brian Cox and Dylan Baker (three actors whom I dig mucho) and the story description went like this: “In writer-director Michael Dougherty’s fright fest, Halloween’s usually boisterous traditions turn deadly, and everyone in a small town tries to survive one night in pure hell … but who will still be alive in the morning? Several stories weave together, including a loner fending off a demented trick-or-treater’s attacks; kids uncovering a freaky secret; a school principal — who moonlights as a serial killer, and more.” To me, this sounded like a potentially good time and I added it to the list.

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Flames

Happy Halloween from FR Press!

Posted on October 31, 2011 by

To celebrate our favorite day of the year we have marked down the entire line of FR Press products by 50%!

The sale lasts for one day only so don’t miss out!

This includes the brand new Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror anthology that features spooky stories from Chuck Wendig, Jess Hartley, Rich Dansky, Jason Blair, Bill Bodden, Nancy Greene and more!

Also included in this sale is The Queen of Crows, Instant Antagonist: Creepy Cottontail and more!

Check out the complete line of FR Press eBooks and get half off for Halloween!

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Flames

Macabre Tales RPG Available Now!

Posted on October 30, 2011 by

Spectrum Games is pleased to announce the release of Macabre Tales, a dominoes-based role-playing game that seeks to faithfully emulate the type of “weird stories” penned by H.P. Lovecraft during the 1920s and ’30s. The game is intended for use by one narrator and one player, but there are detailed optional rules for multiple players as well.

According to designer, Cynthia Celeste Miller, “While designing this game, my goal was simple: to accurately recreate the feel of Lovecraft’s fiction right at your gaming table. This required me to examine how an RPG functions, disassemble it all, modify it and then put it back together again. It was a time consuming and arduous task, but I think the final result was well worth it.”

Macabre Tales is available now at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

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Flames

Happy Halloween Trick or Treat at DriveThru!

Posted on October 29, 2011 by

You’re never too old to have fun at Halloween, so start searching DriveThruComics.com and DriveThruRPG.com for these pumpkins…

Will it be a great Treat – an awesome free product – or will it be a fun Trick, with who-knows-what on the other end?

Participating publishers include White Wolf, Eden Studios, Top Cow Productions, Pelgrane Press, Moonstone Books, 2000 AD, Apex Books and more!

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Flames

Vampire Retrospective: Shane DeFreest

Posted on October 27, 2011 by

The Vampire Retrospective Project continues today with an essay from Shane DeFreest, the former Community Developer for CCP/White Wolf Publishing. Shane tells us about his early introduction to Vampire and his experience being part of the fan community. Shane’s role may have changed, but his commitment to the fans has not.

If you were to go back in time 20 years and tell me that the funny weird looking green book I was putting on the shelf in the section with all the other non-D&D “weirdo role playing games” at the local comic and game shop I worked at would be the single most defining thing in my life, I would have laughed at you and pointed to the X-Men #1 hanging on the wall and said “that defines my life”. Because, for ten years prior to Vampires release, and for as long as I could remember, comics did that for me, not role playing games. Sure, I loved playing D&D for the acting escapism (did theater from a young age) but I was a comic guy and expected that my life journey would forever be tied to superheroes. How so very wrong I would be. That strange green book ironically came out the same year I graduated from high school and my first year of adulthood. I didn’t know it then but my journey into darkness had just begun.

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Steven Dawes

Insidious Movie Review

Posted on October 27, 2011 by

Josh, Renai and their 3 children are the typical middle class American family. In what feels like a cliched setup, the Lambert family has just moved into a house, only to learn soon enough that it happens to be haunted. Various staples of ghost story elements follow, which are seemingly set up to where you feel a “poltergeist” clone coming on. But then… the entire feel and angle of the film is turned on its head, creating one of the best ghost story films released in years!

I intended to review INSIDIOUS when I saw it at the theater months ago. I so dug the hell out of this flick, so much so that I went to see it twice, which was a big deal as I’m currently a full time student who really has to mind his funds.

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Monica Valentinelli

Check Out Legends and Lore by Monte Cook!

Posted on October 26, 2011 by

On September 27th, Monte Cook took over for Mike Mearls as a columnist on the Wizards of the Coast website. Penning “Legends and Lore,” the series dives deep into the core of Dungeons and Dragons to explore the essence of this game. I recently had the chance to pore through these articles and he brings up some great points that I hadn’t thought of. What I feel this column does, is open the door to community-focused discussion and feedback from all gamers, not just players who prefer a particular edition of Dungeons and Dragons.

I really liked some of the subjects Monte addressed when he talked about Magic and Lore in Dungeons and Dragons. In the article, he posed these questions: “What if the game assumed no magic items? What if magic items really were just hard-fought-for treasure that made characters better?”

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Flames

Pigeons from Hell Comic Review

Posted on October 26, 2011 by

In a modernized spin on the classic story “Pigeons from Hell” by Robert E. Howard, we are following two African-American sisters and their friends into the murky swamplands to check out their inheritance: the old Blassenville manor. They quickly start to sense that something isn’t quite right in that ramshackle of a house, and things soon takes a sinister turn when one of the male characters falls through the rotten stairs and breaks his leg. After a failed attempt of getting out of the swamplands, they are being forced to stay the night in the manor.

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Flames

LFNE Campfire Tales #4: Death by Chocolate Available Now!

Posted on October 25, 2011 by

Halloween is finally here and everybody has one thing on their mind: CANDY CANDY CANDY. This love of sweets is completely natural but there’s something decidedly unnatural happening tonight. A normal night of trick-or-treating soon turns into something dark and gruesome when the gang discovers someone might be handing out some bad treats–confections that’ll turn more than your stomach.

Be sure to check your candies, kiddos.

Death by Chocolate is the fourth release in the CAMPFIRE TALES line of standalone episodes for use with Little Fears Nightmare Edition.

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Zombies of the World Review

Posted on October 25, 2011 by

Roleplaying game scenarist, short film maker, podcaster, and graphic designer Ross Payton adds a new laurel to his crown with Zombies of the World: A Field Guide to the Undead. At only 112 trade-paperback pages, Payton does not aim for completness, but for richness. And between his light authorial tone, his slamming graphic design chops, and his slavering hunger for the topic, he shoots his target square in the head.

Zombies of the World presents itself as a kind of all-in-one reference book, from a world in which the walking dead are, if not common, relatively well documented. If Dorling Kindersley published a zombie book, it might look something like this.

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Flames

Vampire Retrospective: Pauline Benney

Posted on October 24, 2011 by

The Vampire Retrospective Project continues with a little something from Pauline Benney, former designer at White Wolf and now at DriveThruRPG. Pauline tells us how she started playing Vampire and how she started working at White Wolf.

I first encountered Vampire: The Masquerade in 1993…But to tell this correctly, I should give a little background. I had gotten my certificate in Graphic Design and had completed school just as digital design started taking root. Most of the practical knowledge I had acquired at school was not in practice anymore by the time I graduated. In January 1992 I moved to Florida for no good reasons. After a couple of months, I got a job and made friends. One of them, Jinx, asked a group of us to play a new tabletop RPG with him. I had not role played since I was quite young…I didn’t want to spend hours rolling dice and reading charts just to make a character before we could even get started…I had flashbacks of my dad and brother trying to explain to me why my wizard could not carry a sword. After some pestering and promises that it wouldn’t be like that because “this system is sooo different,” I agreed.

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Steven Dawes

Dark Night of the Scarecrow Movie Review

Posted on October 24, 2011 by

There are only a few films from my childhood that fills me with nostalgic glee every time I reminisce about them. The 1981 made-for-TV horror movie “Dark Night of the Scarecrow” is one of those movies. There are a lot of movies that I can sort of remember watching the first time, but I can still recall in vivid detail the first time I watched this one, and it’s a good memory for me.

I was at my best bud Ken’s house, who’d seen DNS a year earlier with his folks, and was so taken by it that the boxer puppy they adopted a few weeks later was named after the main character (Bubba). I recall watching his dad lighting the fireplace (it was a chilly October already) as Ken and I got ready for the movie.

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Flames

Christopher Moeller’s Iron Empires at DriveThruComics.com

Posted on October 23, 2011 by

The Iron Empires: eight weary nations, spanning three million light years of the Milky Way Galaxy. They are the withering remains of a human civilization once immeasurably vast. Their dying has not been quiet.

The Vaylen Terror has ravaged humanity down the ages, seizing a thousand worlds in a bloody rush, then pausing for decades of consolidation. During these intervals of calm, the empires rebuild, rearm…and wage war on their neighbors. they almost believe the Vaylen will never return.

Both Iron Empires graphic novels are available for the first time in eBook format exclusively at DriveThruComics.com!

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Flames

Vampire Retrospective: Jacob Bjørnø Klünder

Posted on October 21, 2011 by

The next entry in the Vampire Retrospective Project comes from a freelancer know for his work on Dark Ages: Vampire and other classic World of Darkness titles. Jacob tells us how he got his start with Vampire.

Funnily enough, it actually started with Mage: the Ascension.

I’d made a new friend in High School, a guy named Thomas, and he had Mage. I was getting tired of my old group and our games and so I got together with this guy and some other friends and we used Mage as a generic game. The result was a number of fun one-shot games and a great horror campaign. We’d also found out that the company that did Mage had done another game, this one about vampires, and so Thomas and I went to visit my cousin in Copenhagen and pick up some books at the gaming stores in the “big city”.

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Monica Valentinelli

Dungeons and Dungeons: Heroes of Neverwinter on Facebook

Posted on October 21, 2011 by

Remember my Neverwinter Nights on Facebook review? Dungeons and Dragons: Heroes of Neverwinter is a huge step up. It has music! And awesome graphics!

Okay, here’s a run through:

I create a new character. Choices are arranged by height: Fighter, Wizard, Cleric, Rogue and Custom. Curious, I click on “Custom.” Although I can create my own character and stats, I opt to go with an Eladrin Wizard.

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Flames

Designing Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land

Posted on October 19, 2011 by

We have a new design essay from Tomas Rawlings today. Tomas tells us about the work that went into developing the new Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land mobile game from Red Wasp Design.

Designing The Wasted Land

Hi there! My name is Tomas Rawlings and I’m the designer of the new game Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land. I’m one part of a small indie development team who’ve been working hard for almost a year now on a role-playing/strategy game set in the midst of the First World War. We’ve been working with Chaosium, the publisher of the multi-award winning paper RPG of the same name which, coincidently, this year celebrates its 30th anniversary and we’re aiming to bring the best of paper RPGs and mobile gaming together (and to sacrifice a few goats to Shub-Niggurath in the process).

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Flames

Vampire Retrospective: Yair Robinson

Posted on October 18, 2011 by

The Vampire Retrospective Project continues this week with a new essay from Yair Robinson, a Rabbi who tells about the search for a game that explores a character and the first time playing Vampire: the Masquerade.

It was 1992 or so when Vampire: The Masquerade entered my life. I was a sophomore in high school, knee-deep in the kind of existential crisis that only arises when you’re 15, when my friend Amber and her boyfriend Keith asked me if I wanted to try a new game out called Vampire.

Initially I was unconvinced. I had played role-playing games before, and hadn’t been impressed. Oh, some of them had been amusing: Marvel Superheroes in Middle School (with appropriate ‘pew-pew’ noises); AD&D and MERP, which always struck me as a math textbook pretending to be a game; TORG (not going there), all provided a good laugh but never really moved me, never were more than a vaguely amusing board game. Oh, there was something called ‘character development’ in each of those games, but the rules surrounding them always seemed arcane and overly complex, with most of the effort spent on stats and figures rather than the nuances of the character himself.

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Megan

Divine Favour: The Druid RPG Review

Posted on October 17, 2011 by

The Introduction begins with an overview of the Druid class – a divine spellcaster drawing on the limitless power of the natural world, and with Wisdom as his primary ability. Special abilities include Wildshape, the ability to change form; whilst druids need to concentrate on the things they are good at with their spells – controlling the natural environment, participating in combat and acting in concert with their animal companion. This page is illustrated with a delightful sketch of a Welsh Archdruid from the 18th century, a time when romantics tried to recreate ancient practices, something that led to the establishment of the Gorsedd and the Eisteddfod, something completely different from Druidism as practiced within a fantasy game!

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Flames

Discussing Monsters in America with W. Scott Poole

Posted on October 15, 2011 by

From aliens to zombies, historian W. Scott Poole ventures deep into the darkest shadows of American history in search of witches, sea monsters, and serial killers. Both a masterpiece of scholarship and a heartfelt homage to horror films and literature, Monsters in America is one man’s journey into the violent truths the rest of us prefer to ignore.

Jeremy L. C. Jones stops by Flames Rising to talk with a self-professed “lifelong horror nerd” about America’s dirty little secrets and our sordid part in the cover up.

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Flames

Preview of Chuck Wendig’s Double Dead

Posted on October 14, 2011 by

Coburn’s been dead now for close to a century, but seeing as how he’s a vampire and all, it doesn’t much bother him. Or at least it didn’t, not until he awoke from a forced five-year slumber to discover that most of human civilization was now dead—but not dead like him, oh no.

See, Coburn likes blood. The rest of the walking dead, they like brains. He’s smart. Them, not so much. But they outnumber him by about a million to one. And the clotted blood of the walking dead cannot sustain him. Now he’s starving. And nocturnal. And more pissed-off than a bee-stung rattlesnake. The vampire not only has to find human survivors (with their sweet, sweet blood), but now he has to transition from predator to protector—after all, a man has to look after his food supply.

Flames Rising is pleased to present the first chapter of this upcoming horror novel by Chuck Wendig.

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11 Tales of Ghostly Horror

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