Archive | May, 2012

Monica Valentinelli

Bats about Bats

Posted on May 16, 2012 by

On Saturday, we headed to the Wisconsin Bat Festival where we not only learned about bats, why they are endangered, and why that’s bad for the environment — but we got to see a few live and in person as well. Here are some pictures of bats from the festival!

The Bat Festival featured live bat programs with bats from around the world, including Wisconsin’s backyard bats. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources experts were on-hand with information about bat habitats, predators and white-nose syndrome. Several authors were also at the event, including Brian Lies, author of the children’s books Bats at the Beach, Bats at the Library, and Bats at the Ballgame.

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mforbeck

Matt Forbeck’s Brave New World: Revolution Available Now!

Posted on May 15, 2012 by

Ask Not What Your Country Could Do For you. Ask What It Could Do To You.

John Cruise — better known as the superpowered delta Patriot — only wanted to serve his country, which has suffered under martial law since the assassination of the First Lady back in 1963. For years, he did so as a member of Delta Prime, the federal paramilitary organization dedicated to keeping deltas and the rest of the population in line. Then, during the Bicentennial Battle, Chicago disappeared in a blinding flash of light, taking the world’s most powerful deltas with it, along with Patriot’s wife.

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Flames

Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Po’Kesteros, the Lostling RPG Review

Posted on May 15, 2012 by

Po’Kesteros, the Lostling.
This is one of the Faces of the Tarnished Souk series NPC’s for use with the Rite Publishing campaign setting/ adventure arc Coliseum Morpheuon. This is a setting of adventures and intrigues in the Plane of Dreams, where people can burn their dreams (Dreamburning) to influence fate and events. Not only can someone choose to burn a dream to control their circumstances but dreams can be stolen. On the Plane of Dreams, a dream is power. From what I can gather this high level setting, 16-20th levels, has roots in Planescape, with intrigue between factions, gladiator games, crazy occurrences, otherworldly landscapes and things unusual and odd to throw at your players.

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You Say You Want a Revolution?

Posted on May 14, 2012 by

Farewell to Fear ArtOur new game, Farewell to Fear, is a dark fantasy game about revolution and enlightenment taking people out of the darkness. Your players choose a thing about the world they want to change, and they set out to change it. As we design Farewell to Fear, I’ve tried to keep this at the front of every effort. I’m tackling this through three main avenues, game mechanics, setting writing, and art direction.

In the game mechanics, revolutions are at the forefront. Change needs to drive advancement. So, our entire system is based on building solutions to massive problems, and using thinking and preparation to tackle otherwise overwhelming problems. As the game progresses, characters grow and evolve through their engagements with change.

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Legend of the Five Rings 4th Edition Review

Posted on May 14, 2012 by

Many of gaming’s long-lived members began as mash-ups of other media. Dungeons & Dragons grew out of a love of Lord of the Rings, The Grey Mouser and Conan. Shadowrun mixed Gibson’s cyberpunk with classic fantasy elements. World of Darkness grew out of Anne Rice and urban fantasy media. Legend of the Five Rings combined Asian fantasy elements like samurai, shugenja and oni with western mythology like Zeus that appeals to audiences that grew up on everything from Kurosawa films to Avatar: The Last Airbender. L5R, as it’s known by its fans, released a fourth edition of RPG rules to celebrate 15 years of blood, steel and honor.

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Flames

Horrors: Great Stories of Fear and Their Creators at DriveThruComics!

Posted on May 13, 2012 by

The night modern horror was born was notoriously dark and stormy, as were the lives of those who wrote the most fearsome–yet beloved–tales in literature, for those so gifted were also cursed.

Horrors, a graphic novel by Rocky Wood and Glenn Chadbourne, reveals in gruesome detail how Mary Wollstonecraft, Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe and other masters of the genre were haunted by their monstrous creations.

Horrors: Great Stories of Fear and Their Creators is available now at DriveThruComics.com!

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Flames

Edward R. Pressman (‘The Crow’) Options Archaia Graphic Novel ‘Feeding Ground’

Posted on May 12, 2012 by

Edward R. Pressman, producer of such classic films as Wall Street, American Psycho, The Crow, Bad Lieutenant, and Das Boot, announced today that he has optioned the feature film rights for Archaia Entertainment’s acclaimed graphic novel Feeding Ground. Created by Swifty Lang, Michael Lapinski, and Chris Mangun, Feeding Ground was the first full-length graphic novel to be published in hardcover simultaneously in English and Spanish. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon is set to direct and screenwriter Carlos Coto will adapt for the screen.

Feeding Ground tells the story of a “coyote,” a trafficker of illegal immigrants, forced to smuggle his family into America by crossing the most forbidding part of the Arizona/Mexico border, a searing no-man’s-land known as “The Devil’s Highway.” Along the way, he and his family clash with U.S. Border Patrol agents, only to realize that the entire party is being hunted by the real monsters that roam the countryside—werewolves.

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Flames

Eldritch Skies a new Cinematic Unisystem Horror RPG Available Now!

Posted on May 11, 2012 by

It is 2030. The Gilman-Hawking drive has given us access to the stars. But we are not alone.

The future is here. Machine-made telepathy, augmentations, and unprecedented levels of automation have changed the face of Earth. But the science of sorcery, and our primitive understandings of what lies outside, have changed more than our minuscule planet. They’ve begun to let humanity out.

We walk amongst giants. Tread carefully.

Eldritch Skies is a complete role-playing game of Lovecraftian science fiction that uses the Cinematic Unisystem (Buffy, Ghosts of Albion. It contains all rules needed to play, and requires no additional material beyond your imagination and a few dice.

Eldritch Skies is available now in PDF at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop!

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Flames

Playing Symphonic Fantasy Metal in Golarion: James L. Sutter on Writing Pathfinder Fiction

Posted on May 11, 2012 by

In the sands of Thuvia, the atheist Salim Ghadafar must find the stolen soul of a murdered merchant. His search for souls extends throughout the planes and tests his strength to the breaking point. Death’s Heretic by James L. Sutter is a grand tour of the Outer Planes… a tour that balances large-scale awe and wonder with intimate character development.

Indeed, Death’s Heretic is more than “a book about tracking down kidnapped souls and killing monsters.” It’s a novel shot through with mystery, mayhem, and romping good adventure, sure, but it also asks some weighty questions… while killing monsters.

“If we really understood immortality,” asks Sutter, “would we still want it?”

There’s more, of course. What are the power dynamics of faith? The true nature of honor? Of heroism? What lurks within the complexities of human ambivalence? The resulting novel blends intimate knowledge of the Pathfinder setting with compelling characters and a plot that packs the energy of a Byzantine naphtha bomb.

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Flames

Legend of the Five Rings: Strongholds of the Empire Available Now!

Posted on May 10, 2012 by

Across the Emerald Empire, the greatest servants of the Emperor make their homes in ancient castles, elaborate courts, impregnable fortresses, venerable dojo, and majestic palaces. Some exist in the wilds of the Empire, while others mark the center of great, sprawling cities. Some are centers of trade and artistry, while others exist far from any other sign of civilization. And yet, despite their many differences, it is in the heart of each of these bold strongholds that the heart of the samurai dwells.

Strongholds of the Empire explores a handful of the many unique cities throughout Rokugan, seeking out those with particular interests for the different Great Clans.

Strongholds of the Empire is available in PDF and Print exclusively at DriveThruRPG.com!

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Alabaster: Wolves #1 Review

Posted on May 9, 2012 by

“For nearly as long as she can remember, Dancy Flammarion has fought monsters, cutting a bloody swath through the demons and dark things of the world, aimed like a weapon by forces beyond her control or questioning.”

Phew! I have to admit that I originally feared this would be a book along the lines of Twilight, due to the popularity of such franchises being turned into comics. It is not though. What is presented within these pages is a story that is visually breathtaking, mentally stimulating and when combined they create one hell of a first issue. The artwork in this book did take me a little bit to adjust to, but after 5 pages I was on board. The character designs are great, and the consistency is seen from panel to panel.

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Flames

Driving Through the Desert Review

Posted on May 8, 2012 by

Perspective is the most powerful force at work in the universe. The angle, pitch and yaw of how things are viewed, how things are not seen, and how things are interpereted by the human heart and mind’s eye forges reality for an individual. Often times this reality, perceived by the individual, exists inimical to equidistant realities nurtured and sustained by other individuals-at-large.

Driving Through the Desert presents such a singular and stalwart perspective. A universally hale perspective. The reality of Driving Through the Desert as engineered and presented by the novella’s author, Donna Lynch, is shared – for the most part – by two individuals; Kam and Henry.

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Flames

Nightmare Magazine on Kickstarter

Posted on May 8, 2012 by

In Nightmare’s pages, you will find all kinds of horror fiction, from zombie stories and haunted house tales, to visceral psychological horror. No subject is off-limits, and we will be encouraging our writers to take chances with their fiction and push the envelope.

Edited by bestselling anthologist John Joseph Adams, every month Nightmare will bring you a mix of originals and reprints, and featuring a variety of authors—from the bestsellers and award-winners you already know to the best new voices you haven’t heard of yet. When you read Nightmare, it is our hope that you’ll see where horror comes from, where it is now, and where it’s going.

Nightmare will also include nonfiction, fiction podcasts, and Q&As with our authors that go behind-the-scenes of their stories. Our planned publication schedule each month will include two pieces of original fiction and two fiction reprints, along with a feature interview and an artist gallery showcasing our cover artist.

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Flames

Living with Cold & Dark: Part I

Posted on May 7, 2012 by

The design essay series here at Flames Rising continues with the first part of a series by game designer Mischa L Thomas. Mischa tells us about the forthcoming Cold & Dark RPG.

Living with Cold & Dark: Part 1

Hi, my name is Mischa L Thomas and I’m the lead designer at Wicked World Games 1.1, a small RPG design company based in Gothenburg Sweden. In a couple of months we’re going to release the gritty space horror science fiction pen and paper RPG Cold & Dark in partnership with Chronicle City. I thought I’d talk a little bit about the inspirational sources and conceptualization method behind the design process which led up to the finished game document. But first a little bit of background.

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Megan

Kobold Quarterly # 21 Review

Posted on May 7, 2012 by

Hmm… an Editorial on that contentious question: semi-naked female characters. Traditional game fare, perhaps, but provoking comment. Being of the female persuasion but pragmatic rather than sexist, my only complaint is that if I were participating in a fantasy adventure I’d want a decent layer of armour between me and the monsters – and that doesn’t mean hiding behind the nearest paladin! A few bare-chested blokes would be nice, to maintain balance, though.

The first article proper introduces a Shaman character class for Pathfinder. Opening with an evocative narration of a shaman performing a divination (not for the squeamish, she’s using rabbit entrails!), the class is described as very druid-like, recognising the spirit with all components of nature. They are shape-shifters and healers, whilst the most powerful can send their very essence forth from their mortal body on a spirit quest. Spell lists are limited, but unlike most divine casters a Shaman does not have to prepare but can cast any spell he knows, up to his limit, when he chooses. They have a bond with an animal spirit, which takes the form of the animal in question and acts pretty much like a companion.

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Deadlands: The Last Sons RPG Review

Posted on May 4, 2012 by

Pinnacle Entertainment brings Deadlands’ fans a monster tome (337 pages/no ads) that focuses on fleshing out Native American characters. There is also a bit of metaplot going on with Raven and his schemes. Coupled with the apparent removal of a major threat, the book has a very “new” feel to it, similar to what Shadowrun captures with its constant updating calendar.

Despite its size, the book is truly a supplement, a gorgeous supplement loaded with all the bells and whistles one expects from a corebook. The layout follows the Deadlands format by starting with fourteen pages of the Disputed Lands edition of the Tombstone Epitaph.

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Flames

Trail of Cthulhu: The Millionaire’s Special Proceeds Benefit Heroes in the Dark

Posted on May 3, 2012 by

First Class on the Titanic is exciting in itself but when you are invited to a private viewing of one of the world’s great curiosities, you jump at the chance. The mummy of Hettunaway, Priestess of Amun-Ra, the Unlucky Mummy is being shipped to New York and donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art by its owner, Jefferson Shaw. Legend has it that those who look upon her face are doomed. Jefferson Shaw’s intentions are not as philanthropic as they seem. Strange rituals, a device to contact spirits and the awakening of something he cannot control.

The Titanic is on a collision course with an iceberg but will it be the icy water that kills you or the ancient force, finally unleashed?

The Millionaire’s Special is a short adventure for Trail of Cthulhu by Adam Gauntlett (Not So Quiet, Hell Fire). This is to celebrate the centenary year of the Titanic’s tragic sinking.

All proceeds from the sale of this adventure will go to the Heroes in the Dark charity.

RMS Titanic: The Millionaire’s Special is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop!

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Flames

Zombie Dice To Appear On Hit Geek And Sundry Show Tabletop

Posted on May 3, 2012 by

Zombie Dice, the brain-eating dice game produced by Steve Jackson Games, will appear in the third episode of Tabletop on Friday, May 4, 2012.

"I'm really hyped about the G&S channel, and especially Tabletop," said company founder Steve Jackson. "The Internet is the right way to deliver this, and it's fun food for geek brains. Braaaaaiiiinnnns."

Narrated by actor and author Wil Wheaton, Tabletop features guests playing dice, card, board, and pen-and-paper games. The show is available free online on the Geek and Sundry YouTube! channel. This episode shows viewers how to play this quick dice game.

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Megan

The Ship of Fools (Pathfinder RPG) Review

Posted on May 1, 2012 by

Opening with a truly beautiful plan of the ship itself, and detailed background that explains how The Green Lady came to be drifting empty, Marie Celeste-style across the face of the ocean, we continue with little ado into various ways in which your characters can be enticed to explore, to risk the unknown dangers that await… Perhaps the ship they are on is sinking? Or someone aboard the ship owed one of them money? Or they heard a rumour about treasure concealed aboard? Or… maybe you have a better hook, you know what intrigues and attracts them, after all. There are even ideas to deal with the minor hindrance of the group not being at sea when you want to run the adventure!

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