Author | Monica Valentinelli

Monica Valentinelli

Monica Valentinelli is a writer and game designer who lurks in the dark. She creates original worlds and writers for media tie-in settings which include Dungeons & Dragons, Shadowrun, Firefly, and Vampire: The Masquerade.

Published stories and games include “Tomorrow’s Precious Lambs” for EXTREME ZOMBIES, IN VOLO'S WAKE for Dungeons & Dragons, and DREAD NAMES, RED LIST for Vampire: the Requiem by White Wolf Publishing.

Her non-fiction repertoire includes online articles, essays, and reference materials like the THE GORRAMN SHINIEST LANGUAGE GUIDE AND DICTIONARY IN THE 'VERSE for the Firefly TV show. She has written for sites like HowtoWrite Shop.com, Crackle.com, SFWA.org, GeeksDreamGirl.com, and BookLifeNow.com in addition to contributions for books such as FAMILY GAMES: THE 100 BEST and THE BONES: US AND OUR DICE.

For more about Monica, visit booksofm.com.


Monica Valentinelli

The Story Behind “Suffering of the Unchosen”

Posted on September 6, 2016 by

“Suffering of the Unchosen” is one of many stories found in the recently released anthology titled Tales of the Dark Eras. Set in and near Salem Village in the early 1690s, the story follows a grieving husband and father who, at first glance, is the victim of a terrible crime. His wife and step-child had […]

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Monica Valentinelli

Want a Fresh Take on the Fae? Check out Court of Shadows!

Posted on July 26, 2016 by

Shadowrun Court of Shadows Cover Art
Court of Shadows is a brand new setting for Shadowrun 5th Edition that takes place on a metaplace filled with faeries, the Seelie Court, and rich details and characters. I co-designed the setting with Jason Hardy for this supplement, and contributed a huge chunk of the writing, too. I’m so excited to present this alternate setting, and hope fans’ll dig how I blended inspiration from previous sourcebooks into this unique metaplane.

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Monica Valentinelli

Designing Battle for the Undercity a D&D 5E Adventure

Posted on February 19, 2016 by

Over the years, I’ve worked on (and have played) a lot of games with folks from every corner of the industry, but I’ve never had the opportunity to write for Dungeons and Dragons. Battle for the Undercity (5E) is a release that changed all that thanks to dmsguild.com. Today, I’d like to share with you my process for designing this adventure.

The first thing I did was review the adventure structure. Having played D&D 5E, I understood how important that was but, at the same time, I wanted to put my own twist on it. After I read the DMs Guild Creator Adventure Template and refreshed my memory by referencing Hoard of the Dragon Queen and Rise of Tiamat, I came up with a plan. I wanted to design a location and fitting monster variants that could be used in any Forgotten Realms campaign, in part because of my own experiences playing D&D. By tapping into the two elements every city tends to have which, in this case, was the undercity (sewers, worked tunnels, etc.) and a tavern, I felt DMs could use Battle for the Undercity as a break between campaigns or intense sessions.

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Monica Valentinelli

My 2014 RPG Releases in Review!

Posted on January 11, 2015 by

I had one of those moments a few weeks back, the kind where you’re forced to stop and wonder what you’ve been up to for the past several months. We were driving through the redwoods, and we stopped at the base of a very large tree. I suppose that’s an understatement, given the fact that they are, indeed, “the” redwoods, but to actually be there… To listen to nothing–no birds, no frogs, no crickets–nothing… The only bit that’s left when there’s total silence is either that or the thoughts swirling around in my head. Usually it’s the latter, which often turns into some musical refrain. Sadly.

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Monica Valentinelli

A Letter to Humans Regarding Halloween

Posted on October 1, 2014 by

Dear Humans: As we understand it, you humans have now changed your Julian calendars to mark the tenth month in your year. Though it is apparent you eagerly anticipate the end of your annual cycle by buying gifts, flocking to mercantile centers, and hanging confusing decorations to acknowledge this passage (e.g. we have yet to […]

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Monica Valentinelli

Awaiting Universal’s DRACULA UNTOLD with Bated Breath

Posted on September 9, 2014 by

Slated for an October 10th release in the U.S., Universal’s DRACULA UNTOLD returns to Bram Stoker’s story in an action-filled, heart-wrenching way. For many reasons, I’m excited about this film on a personal level both as a writer and a fan of all things vampire. It’s no secret I’ve been disappointed with the blurry way […]

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Monica Valentinelli

Up And Into The Black: Firefly RPG and Exclusive

Posted on July 23, 2013 by

After Margaret Weis Productions announced they had acquired the Firefly RPG license at the end of February, we looked at the calendar. GenCon. Wow, what a show. Could we do it? Could we develop the system, launch a digital line of adventures, and put together a full corebook in time for the show? Our answer was: “No, there isn’t enough time.”

Personally, I think Plan B — even though it’s been a little crazy for all of us — has turned out pretty damn good. As I sit here typing this, I’m waiting for page proofs for Gaming In The ‘Verse: GenCon 2013 Exclusive, our first limited edition release.

The Exclusive announcement was met first with trepidation. What is this crazy thing? A beta? (No, it’s not.) Then, as we revealed more and more information about this 272 page game book — the more excited folks have been getting.

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Monica Valentinelli

Progress Report #3: Scion, Firefly, ROFL!, and More!

Posted on July 16, 2013 by

I haven’t posted one of these since the end of March, and for that… I apologize. If you’re just following up on these now, the progress reports are to check in and show you what’s up in Monica-land. I’m happy to report that all plates are spinning and balanced appropriately. I may even have a […]

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Monica Valentinelli

Archaia Exhibiting at C2E2 This Weekend!

Posted on April 26, 2013 by

Award-winning graphic novel publisherArchaia Entertainment is excited to announce it will exhibit at booth #1019 at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) for a fourth straight year since the event’s inception! C2E2 is one of the Midwest’s biggest celebrations of comics and pop culture, taking place during the weekend of April 26-28, 2013 in […]

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Monica Valentinelli

Progress Report #2: Comic, Violet War, and More!

Posted on March 27, 2013 by

February’s progress report kicked off this new series, so this month’s introduction talks a bit about a dry, boring subject: the internet. I do want to point out a couple of things in case you didn’t know already. First, be sure to check the front page of mlvwrites.com; I updated that with a few new books.

Read more to find news about my games, stories, clients — and comic!

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Monica Valentinelli

The ‘Verse And Your Dice

Posted on March 24, 2013 by

I announced recently that I’m the new Brand Manager and one of the writers for the Firefly roleplaying game line. Recently, I published my first update about what we’re up to on the Margaret Weis Productions website.

For more information, read: Ain’t No Better Place In The ‘Verse. I plan to write these bi-monthly and will keep you posted about new titles and some cool ways you can get involved.

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Monica Valentinelli

March Fourth — With 10 Horrifyingly Good Deals For GM’s Day

Posted on March 4, 2013 by

Have you honored your GM or Storyteller yet today?

Today is March Fourth, an annual holiday that begs all players to remember the master of their evening’s entertainment — the GM. In honor of this auspicious day of days, DriveThruRPG.com is running a huge GM’s Day Sale all week on a massive list of downloadable games, supplements, and accessories.

Since there are over 13,000 titles discounted, including a few from FR Press, I’ve put together a list of my picks for game lines I haven’t worked on thus far. Read on for my fabulous selections!

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Monica Valentinelli

Progress Report #1: A Long Update

Posted on February 25, 2013 by

Today, I kick off a new series that specifically talks about what I’m up to work-wise. I’ve made it a policy not to over-publicize games and stories that haven’t come out yet, primarily because I’ve been burned on that before. It’s tricky to manage because everybody’s promoting, but sometimes deals go bad or businesses fold or what have you. Hence, progress reports. Not promising you anything, but these are some projects I’m working on, have been involved with, and may be coming to a book store, game store, or online retailer near you.

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Monica Valentinelli

Do Some Evil for Crestline Elementary

Posted on February 23, 2013 by

Today FlamesRising.com readers, I appeal to your dark side. I ask you to fan the flames, stoke the fire, and spread the world about the Evil for Crestline Auctions going on this weekend!

Drop what you’re doing! ‘Cause, that’s RIGHT now!!! Members of the creative community are donating goods and services to help the students of Crestline Elementary. The auction ends Monday, February 25th, so you’ll want to check these out as soon as you can!

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Monica Valentinelli

Classic Dungeons and Dragons Supplements Are Now In Digital!

Posted on January 22, 2013 by

In the wee hours of the morning, you may have heard your d20s jump for joy.

Wizards of the Coast, in conjunction with DriveThruRPG, announced today a new site launch – DNDClassics.com. The news first broke via GeekDad at Wired Magazine.

Click through to read more about the site’s features, what you can expect to find, and more!

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Monica Valentinelli

Review of James Herbert’s Ash

Posted on December 27, 2012 by

James Herbert is a horror writer who hails from the U.K. He’s been compared to Steven King and, for the first time, his work is available stateside. The novel I read, ASH, is a reprint through Tor Books.

Herbert is a multi-novelist with almost two dozen books out in the wild. (Sadly, the author does not have an official website, or I’d link to it for you so you could see his bibliography of published works.) This is the first time I’ve read Herbert’s work; this type of story is more my fare than a continual stream of blood, guts, and gore. ASH begins with a mystery and a haunted castle. The main character, David Ash, is a ghost hunter and parapsychologist who works for the Psychical Research Institute. His abilities give him an edge and we, the reader, find out more about them as the story progresses.

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Monica Valentinelli

Need a Lovecraft fix? Check Out the Lovecraft Zine!

Posted on November 27, 2012 by

Lovecraft eZine Issue 19 November’s issue of The Lovecraft eZine features a sordid tale of madness and persistence penned by yours truly. Titled “The Dig,” this is a gender-neutral story about a person and something (or someone) known only as “It.” Also included in this issue’s Table of Contents are stories from many illustrious writers — including a tale by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, who hails from the Innsmouth Free Press.

What’s more? You can read and listen to The Dig for free online.

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Monica Valentinelli

Frankenweenie Movie Review

Posted on October 24, 2012 by

What’s black and white and has Tim Burton written all over it? While I’m sure no other movie reviewer has dropped that line, what I am positive about is that Frankenweenie is a new Halloween favorite created by spooky director/writer/producer/artist Tim Burton.

Frankenweenie is based on a short film Tim Burton produced in 1984. The film, which is readily available online and as an extra on some versions of The Nightmare Before Christmas, is part of the Disney catalog. You can watch the original Frankenweenie on Slate.com. A family film, Frankenweenie has a full cast of characters who live (and lurk) in the town of New Holland.

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Monica Valentinelli

Citadels Of The Lost Review

Posted on October 12, 2012 by

Citadels of the Lost is Book Two in The Annals of Drakis series by Tracy Hickman. A veteran author, Hickman explores a new fantasy world where the opposites of magic provide power (and a lack thereof) to varying races; humans, elves, dragons, dwarves, goblins, chimerians, manticores, etc. The elves rule the dreaded Rhonas Empire with an iron fist — and slavery by use of their magical source dubbed the “Aether.”

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Monica Valentinelli

The 13. Final Days to Apply!

Posted on October 9, 2012 by

Do you have what it takes to be one of my thirteen? October thirteenth is coming up fast. That date marks the day I’ll contact applicants who applied to become one of my thirteen. I blogged about that on my own website, but wanted to extend the invitation to FlamesRising.com readers, too. Many of you have been following my career from the very beginning — after all, it was here where I first posted game fiction for Obsidian: the Age of Judgement. It was also here where we published The Devil’s Night for White Wolf fans and here where I was able to announce projects like Strange, Dead Love, Scenes of the Embrace, Worlds of the Dead, and so many more.

This group I’m putting together is unusual in the sense that I’m providing readers with the ability to get to know me in a more intimate fashion than folks normally would be able to online. I’m also going to talk about the deep, down, and dirty parts of the submission process for my original work and throw a few stories to them.

Questions? I’m sure you do. Read on!

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